The project aims to send a little joy and hope from the hospital patients to older, vulnerable people in the city who need additional support during the coronavirus outbreak.
Patients have been invited to write a letter or poem, or create a picture that will be sent to Age UK and included in food parcels that are being put together by Age UK Southampton in partnership with Hampshire Constabulary supported by donations of food from local businesses and residents.
Sarah Shameti, youth worker at Southampton Children’s Hospital who came up with the idea, said “It is so important, especially at the moment, to find ways to keep our patients motivated and engaged to help minimise their anxiety during the coronavirus outbreak. We find that creativity is a great way to do that and if they are helping to spread hope and joy to other vulnerable people in the process this is a win-win.”
The project was initially set up for patients but it is now open to the wider community.The campaign has had a great response already with letters arriving from as far away as Germany.
Claire Roberts, a representative from Age UK said “The initiative ‘From me to you’ has quickly gathered momentum, with interest and responses from our Facebook followers and also from local schools.
“Many elderly, vulnerable people are in isolation alone at the moment and it can be really difficult not to have contact with anyone from the outside world. It’s lovely to see so many members of the community wanting to help.”
Hampshire Constabulary have been coordinating donations of food from the local community, packaging and delivering them to Age UK for distribution. Claire said “We are so grateful to Hampshire Constabulary for coordinating the donations of food from the local community and want to say thank you to everyone for all the kind donations of supplies.
"We receive calls daily from people who are very scared and worried about food shopping and it isn’t always possible to get a supermarket delivery slot so these food parcels are very much appreciated.”
The people who have received the letters so far have been very grateful and some have made thank you cards to send back to the children.
If you are interested in taking part, you can find out more in the video below.