24 September 2020
Postcards of Kindness
As part of our relationship-centred approach to care, our teams are always looking for ways to support people to maintain their most precious relationships, and build new ones. Promoting connections to others through shared interests, reminiscence and story telling are just some of the ways we can help.
Recently many of our homes have joined an initiative called Postcards of kindness whose strapline is ‘Writing Postcards; Connecting Lives’
What started off as a very small project in 2018 which now reaches people living in care homes worldwide. Set up to help combat loneliness and isolation, Postcards of Kindness helps remind people living in care homes that there is always someone somewhere thinking about them.
The initial campaign was featured on BBC and ITV news as well as across social media. One care home in particular received thousands of cards from around the world with the campaign inspiring so many people from all walks of life to take part. The postcards encouraged residents to remember the holidays they had been on as children or with their own young families, while stimulating conversations and inspiring happiness, sparking memories of sights, sounds and smells. The idea helps people to continue to feel connected to the community and the wider world, and almost enables them to ‘travel’ via others’ words and images.
The initiative has now grown, and with 34,600 members worldwide, it is amazing to know how much kindness there is in the world.
The concept is simple; care homes who wish to receive cards for their residents can register that they’re ‘looking for’ people to send cards, and people who would like to send them simply select the address of the home they wish to send to. No personal details are shared.
In this modern age of technology, of course we can share our holiday pictures instantly and in so many different ways – but remember how fantastic if felt to get a postcard from someone. It’s not just the recipients who benefit either – many people will have very happy memories of sitting in the sun somewhere, perhaps on the beach or in a café, writing postcards to friends and family. How satisfying to send a postcard from your day trip, short break or holiday to brighten someone else’s day and to revive the tradition of sending postcards. Take a moment and forget the very busy online world. Sending and receiving post is a great way to spread a little cheer and to remind people who live in care homes that they are a part of the worldwide community.
Hallmark’s lifestyles team member Jade from Bucklesham Grange in Ipswich told us how she and her residents are involved in the initiative;
“I started postcards of kindness some time ago, I think the best thing about it is the joy it brings to the residents. I also think the reminiscence side of this is the best part as it brings residents together to reminisce if they see a postcard of somewhere they have travelled to – it starts conversations about where they’ve been and where their favourite place was. It is an enjoyable and engaging activity to provide and it’s also interactive.
We’ve had lots of ideas about how we can display the ones we receive, such as an interactive display on each community on a wall enabling residents to be able to pull a card off the wall and read and enjoy them.
Residents have been involved by coming together and each reading a post card out loud to the group if they wish to do so, then having a discussion about that particular postcard providing a social group interaction. Some prefer to read them on their own in their head and simply smile and enjoy it.
Click here to find your nearest Hallmark care home.