The Letterbox Project creates connections
Originally Published by: Australian Journal of Dementia Care
Connected AU’s Letterbox Project aims to bring meaningful connection to thousands of older Australians who are feeling lonely or isolated during COVID-19, connecting them with a network of over 7000 letter writers, including families and school groups.
The Letterbox Project seeks to engage with older people who have been excluded from their usual social networks during COVID-19 and don’t have access or capacity to engage with technology and connect with others online.
Individuals and organisations can nominate an older person who may be feeling isolated, like those living alone or in aged care, to receive a letter by visiting Connected AU’s website at www.connectedau.com.au/the-letterbox. Those who are not digitally connected can contact COTA on 1300 26 82 28 to register.
To become a letter writer, register on the Connected AU website. You will receive details of your nominated recipient with their hobbies/interests to help tailor the letter. You’ll also find examples on Connected AU’s Instagram page at connected_au. All letters are sent direct to the Letterbox Project team for approval before being forwarded to the recipient. No personal information or addresses are released.
COTA Chief Executive, Ian Yates, said the Letterbox Project is an important initiative at a time when much of the nation is beginning to open up, but restrictions will remain on visits in aged care homes for some time, and advice to older Australians living in the community is to be cautious and largely remain at home.
Connected AU founder Mea Campbell (pictured) said public support for the Letterbox Project has been overwhelming, with about 600 letters currently being delivered each week.
“In times like this, receiving a letter from someone you’ve never met who is thinking of you and wishes to bring you joy is a wonderful feeling for anyone,” said Ms Campbell.