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‘Young and old connected’ as Carrigoran residents receive over 500 letters from students

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Nursing home residents in Co Clare have been given by some of the youngest members of the county’s population.

As part of An Post’s Community Focus plan, free postage to nursing and care homes has been in operation for the past week.

When the words “Freepost” are written in capital letters on an envelope in place of a stamp, An Post will deliver any cards or letters posted to or sent by residents completely free of charge.

Carrigoran House in Newmarket-on-Fergus has received over 500 letters in the past week from local primary and secondary schools with hampers and sweets also delivered. St Caimins Community School in Shannon were the first to send in letters to the residents with multiple schools following in their path.

Activity co-ordinator at Carrigoran, Paula McCarthy said the letters have given all residents a visible lift. “They were talking to each other about who got a letter from who, the age of the people sending the letters, great conversations sparked up and it put smiles on their faces. It’s great, they love it and they are excited to see who it is from, they read it straight away and they’re mad to write back, they feel obliged to write back and would hate to leave them without a reply”.

She highlighted the importance of the communication. “Residents can only have window visits with their families, it is better than the last time but there is a connection missing. It is very important for them, it lets them forget about COVID for a while and all the talk about it, they’re well informed and listen to the news, the letters from the children gets them out of the daily routine of listening to COVID-19 on the news and get to talk about something else and see what is going on in the children’s lives and see what is going on in school and what their hobbies are, it is a great distraction for them, to connect with someone else is very important for them”.

Personalised letters eject a lot of meaning, the Clarecastle woman explained. She also outlined that it is not just the residents who are benefiting from the gesture. “It is about connecting the young and the old”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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