Norma Parkinson has managed the nine-bed Ridout House in Midvale Road for 31 years and came up with the idea as a way to help her residents stay in touch with the rest of the Island while they are living with restricted access. She also says she wants to offer something for children to do while they are off school.
Within minutes of posting the idea on social media, she was inundated with people asking for the address of the care home. The following day a number of Easter eggs and other gifts were also delivered to the home as a surprise for the residents and staff.
Ms Parkinson now hopes other care homes can join the fledgling scheme and provide their own details so that children can send letters, pictures and cards – something she said she had been assured by Jersey Post was a safe thing to do.
Ridout House will also be saving all the stamps from such post for a charity which is collecting them.
‘It is lovely that the whole Island is getting involved,’ said Ms Parkinson. ‘We are only a small care home. There are lots of larger care homes and I am hoping that the children will do cards and things for them all. I just thought it would be a nice thing for parents to help keep up the children’s education.’
She added that the home was currently on restricted access, which was taking some getting used to, and some residents did not get much post anyway so receiving extra would help to maintain morale.
‘Everybody’s spirits are up here. Our residents are having walks in the garden and getting some fresh air. They are just not mingling,’ she said.
‘We will probably have two sessions a week opening the letters and the cards and we have also agreed to save the stamps for another charity. The residents are really looking forward to it.’
Meanwhile, a post on Facebook from Sue Bentley revealed more about the random act of kindness delivered to the care home, saying that a customer of hers at the Chocolate Bar shop had arranged for her to give all the residents and staff at Ridout a gift.
‘A big heartfelt thanks from me, and I’m sure from Norma as well. Not only did this customer help us with a sale which is like gold dust in the current times, but they also managed to put the smile on the faces of the old folk and staff at Ridout House. You’re an absolute angel (you know who you are) – thank you for supporting our small business when times are hard.’
The address to send letters and cards to is: Ridout House, 9 Midvale Road, St Helier, JE2 3YR.
Any other care homes which would like their details published on this page please email firstname.lastname@example.org.