Young and old penpals learn about each other

Young and old have teamed up for a pen-pal project in Scarborough.

Ten-year-old children and adults, some in their 80s, shared their life experiences with each other.

They exchanged letters via a mediator and some of the participants came face-to-face at Northstead School, which the youngsters attend.

The school and Age UK had worked together on the project since January.

Mohamed Mohamed was paired up with 82-year-old Philip Waite, who told his young penpal what life was like when he was young. “We didn’t have much but it was simple”, he said. “We had no TV and no telephone. Life is too complicated now”. Mohamed told Keith about his interests.

Erin Moore and Alison Fenton told each other about their brothers and sisters. “We both have a sibling who’s five years younger”, Alison said. “We talked about our holidays and discovered we both like Chinese food”. When they met, Erin showed Alison some of her artwork and poetry.

The project was organised by Alison Easton of Age UK, who said: “The entire year-five group at Northstead, 88 students, have been writing to our service users hoping to promote intergenerational communication and bonding. A number of children had never written or received a letter before. The children and staff have been so supportive and excited. The letters have been fantastic to read, with both parties learning from shared experiences. 

“They met over coffee and cake and eagerly showed their super work and kindly sang for us”.

Readers who would like a penpal can ring Alison on 07598 354964.