Mercy Place Fernhill residents receive surprise pen pal letters

Tuesday 2 June 2020

Mercy Place
Residents from Mercy Place Fernhill, located in Melbourne’s southeast, received a pleasant surprise in the letterbox last month, opening personal letters from kind-hearted students at Sandringham East Primary School.

Prep students from the local school sent 24 letters to the aged care home as a way of safely connecting with residents and spreading some positivity during this uncertain time.

Sandringham East Primary School principal Laureen Walton said the initiative aimed to help the children and residents feel connected in a time of strict physical distancing.

“The idea came around quite naturally when we were thinking of ways we can help support Mercy Place,” Ms Walton said.

“It’s important in times like these to care for our community and this initiative was perfect as it helped our students better understand what is happening in the world while also showing support.” Ms Walton said.

Students from Sandringham East Primary School, Lenny, Harper and Oscar, were very excited to take part and post letters which discussed elements of their lives and shared personal drawings.

Residents at Mercy Place Fernhill were thankful for the kind gesture from the children, and in turn, 24 residents have decided to write back as soon as possible to show their appreciation.

When the letters arrived at Mercy Place, resident Peg Bergman couldn’t believe her eyes and was particularly eager to respond as receiving the letters reminded her of the visits the local school used to do before COVID-19.

“When I opened one of the letters I just knew I had to respond,” Ms Bergman said.

“It’s nice to know our community thinks of us and wants to support even in the smallest way, especially during these difficult times.”

Mercy Place Fernhill Service Manager, Josh Wonder, welcomes any opportunities like these for residents to engage and connect with the local community and said he hopes it won’t be the last time Sandringham East Primary School reach out.

“It was a lovely surprise for not only the residents but for staff as well,” Mr Wonder said.

“We are grateful our residents had an opportunity to safely connect during a time where they may be missing some of the social interactions they would typically have.” Mr Wonder said.

To learn more about Mercy Health’s aged care homes and its initiatives, please visit the Mercy Health website
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