Community Senior Letters
1435. Nina Andersen
Nina Andersen, aged 16, from London, set up ‘Community Senior Letters’ during lockdown, connecting primary school pupils with care home residents as pen pals.
Nina was inspired to set up the initiative from her first project, ‘Community Senior Music’, where semi-professional musicians performed concerts at various care homes. Unable to perform due to COVID-19, Nina still wanted to find a way of bringing connection to care home residents and counter social isolation, particularly for those unable to receive any visitors. ‘Community Senior Letters’ matches primary schools to care homes in the same borough to provide human connection during lockdown through letter exchanges, with over 130 primary schools and 110 care homes in London are now involved.
In a personal letter to Nina, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I was inspired to hear of your fantastic “Community Senior Letters” initiative, forging new friendships between thousands of primary school children and care home residents.
“Far from allowing the lockdown to reduce social contacts across our society, you have safely brought generations together by sharing in the timeless joy of writing and receiving a handwritten letter.
“So today I am delighted to write a letter to you, to recognise your service to others and name you as the UK’s 1435th Point of Light.”
“I am so grateful and honoured to receive the Points of Light award and would like to thank all the students who took part in the letter writing project for the elderly. Winning this award proves that even a 16 year old can make a difference, and so I hope to encourage other young people to do the same.”