Primary School Pupils in Uist have been writing letters to a number of befriending networks on the island to help support people during lockdown. The children were also aware of elderly community members and decided to write to them as they knew they would appreciate a friendly letter during the lockdown period.
The pupils of Sgoil Uibhist a Tuath, Sgoil Bhaile a' Mhanaich, Sgoil an Iochdair and Sgoil Dhalabroig were encouraged to write letters to people living in care homes as part of the National Literacy Trust Dear New Friend initiative. However, as the children have built relationships with a number of inter generational groups throughout the islands, the schools took the initiative one step further and focused on writing to a number of befriending networks already established in Uist including Caraidean Uibhist, Tagsa and Cuimhne.
Executive Head of Uist Primary Schools Anne Graham said:
“Inter-generational connections such as Armchair Athletics and Tagsa Sensory Garden project are something the Uist Primary Schools have developed over the last few years and we recognise it as one of the most valuable things that we have established here. We know that the receiving of a letter can really give someone a huge lift in their period of confinement and we endeavour to promote the skills of letter writing in every child.
“A Sgoil Bhaile a' Mhanaich pupil became aware of a Benbecula lady, Mrs MacSween, stranded in Australia. She was due home in April but is unable to travel due to restrictions. Due to her situation, Shonnie in PG4 decided to write a Gaelic letter to her knowing that this may be of a comfort to her to receive a letter in her mother tongue whilst away from home.”