Written by Kathryn, Volunteer Coordinator at Sheffcare – a local charity providing high-quality care to older people in Sheffield
Over the last 3 years Sheffcare has attracted high numbers of students from The University of Sheffield to do befriending and activities with our residents. This further enhances our residents’ lives, bringing the community into our care homes and making intergenerational links with the young and the older generation.
One of the first precautions that Sheffcare took to protect its residents at the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak was to cancel projects and put all the volunteering on hold to reduce footfall in the homes. This meant that students who had been volunteering could no longer visit and as the lockdown was extended many students left Sheffield and went home.
This situation didn’t stop the students making contact with our residents as we have received letters and cards though the post and via email, some containing photograph’s and poetry which are lovely to receive.
It’s great to see traditional methods of communication still having their place and making a positive difference.
Read a letter written by student Isla to a Sheffcare resident below:
I hope this letter reaches you well.
My Name is Isla, and I am a Student at the University of Sheffield, and also volunteer with Sheffcare. Unfortunately, because of current circumstances we are unable to come and visit you in person. However, I’m writing this letter to let you know that our thoughts are still with you! I really hope you feel comfortable and cared for.
As the summer is drawing closer, the weather is making everything a little brighter – even despite lockdown! I know that you may not be able to go outside, but I hope the leaves coming back onto the trees, and the flowers starting to blossom, is making your view a lot lovelier.
Now all the cars have stopped, we can now hear all the birds! If you listen first thing in the morning, at day-break, the bird song is as loud as ever! So, I suppose every cloud has a silver lining!
I am very lucky that I live in the countryside, so I can still go for walks without seeing anyone. I thought I’d show you some pictures of some of the places I’ve walked to with my Dad.
We’ve seen lots of wildlife around, I think the animals are getting braver now there are no people around. There’s been lots of buzzards, montjac deer, skylarks and woodpeckers – But I haven’t seen a hedgehog yet this year, hopefully soon! There is also a Llama farm near my house, so I have stopped to say hello to them as well!
I thought I’d give you a short poem about summer to read, it’s by S. M. Gilbert, I hope you enjoy it!
“Though May did bring her deepest grey
And June did bring her gloom,
I woke this morn in a glorious way
To Sunshine in my room.
Quick, get up,
It’s time to rise.
Greet the day.
I started to cry.
It has begun.
It’s finally here,
The summer sun!
Feel her warmth,
See my garden grow,
Taste the sweetest fruits,
Watch the butterflies flow.
Hear the squirrels chatter
And my orioles swoon
Till the evening comes
With the summer moon.
It seems like I’ve waited
Such a very long time,
Longing for the light of
Your rays of sunshine.
So please stay a while.
Bring your long, lazy days.
I’ll cherish each blue sky
And ride every wave.
Oh, how I love summer
And all of her songs,
Happy summer to all,
And may it be long!”
I hope my letter can bring some summer to your day!
(BA Sociology, University of Sheffield).