Balhousie Monkbarns launches ‘Christmas cards of kindness’ initiative

One Arbroath care home is doing its bit to keep the tradition of Christmas card giving alive.

Balhousie Monkbarns has taken inspiration from the global Postcards of Kindness initiative and put a Christmas twist on it – by encouraging people to send Christmas cards to its residents.

Shona Preston, Activities Coordinator at the care home, said: “I know how much something as small as this can make a huge impact on a care home resident’s day. I also know Christmas cards aren’t as popular anymore, but if you have the time and money to send one in or drop off it would be amazing!”

After she posted a request for participants on the Facebook group Arbroath Online, Shona says there has already been interest from schools and other members of the community. “A lot of people have been in touch already, which is really heartwarming. After Christmas we’re planning on having a coffee morning for those who send cards, so that they can meet our residents.”

Monkbarns is not the only care home in the 25-strong group to have encouraged this sort of communication. When Lynne McDowall, Wellbeing Co-ordinator at Balhousie Moyness Nursing Home, came across Postcards for Kindness on Facebook, she decided that her home should take part.  This project allows individuals from all over the country to send and receive postcards.

Lynne thought it would be a great idea for Moyness to join the group so that residents experiencing loneliness, depression and/or anxiety could write and also receive postcards.  It has been proven that this project allows individuals to feel wanted and appreciated. Not only that, it triggers all sorts of memories from different places that people have visited over the years.

Lynne said: “This has been a fantastic project for our residents to be part of.  Not only do they like helping to write postcards, they also enjoy going out a walk to post them in the local post box and the look on their faces when they receive a postcard back is amazing”.

In addition to postcards being received from people all over the world, the local nursery children – who visit on a weekly basis – have enjoyed writing an individualised postcard to all our residents.  Some of the places the postcards have been received from are USA, Malta, Madeira, Pitlochry, East Kilbride and Blackpool.   “The joy and happiness that these postcards have brought is something that will be treasured,” says Lynne.

Pictured (L to R) are: Staff member Kirsty Taylor, resident Sheena Mitchell and Activities Coordinator Shona Preston.