Bearsden Primary Student wins award for sending letters to isolated older people at Christmas

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The young primary school pupil won the award for writing a letter to isolated older people about the magic of Christmas.

A letter written by a Bearsden primary school pupil is helping to spread some festive goodwill after being chosen to feature in Age Scotland’s Friendship Service Christmas cards.

Niamh Avart from Bearsden Primary School took part in a competition organised by housebuilder Robertson Homes for children to write letters to older people who may be feeling lonely this Christmas.

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The project is part of Robertson Homes’ support for Age Scotland’s Friendship Service, which helps isolated people feel better by listening, offering support, and letting them know that someone cares. School children were asked to write a letter or poem about the magic of being a child at Christmas and to share their festive feelings with someone who might be spending Christmas alone. Robertson Homes also made a contribution of £1,500 to support the work of Age Scotland and presented Niamh with a £50 prize voucher.

Sharon Spinelli, sales and marketing director at Robertson Homes, said: “Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for many of our older community and it was heart-warming to see how all the children at Bearsden Primary School understood how people can feel spending the festive period alone.

“Niamh’s letter made it very clear that there are always people in the community who think about others and I am sure their letter will bring a smile to the faces of those who read it.”

Patrick Prunty, teacher at Bearsden Primary School, said: “My class absolutely loved writing the letters for the Age Scotland Christmas cards. They put a lot of effort into making them personal and adding a bit of festive cheer to those who read them. I am very proud of Niamh and the rest of the class for their very touching messages.”

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Michelle Supple, Age Scotland’s Interim Chief Executive, added: “Tens of thousands of older people in Scotland are very lonely at this time of year, especially those living alone or without friends and family close by.

“For those who find it difficult to tell loved ones how they are feeling, or who might not have anyone else to turn to, our Friendship Line can offer support, comfort and reassurance or even just a friendly chat, and our Comradeship Circles help ensure older veterans stay connected with their community through regular group calls. You can call us free on 0800 12 44 222.

“We’re so grateful to Robertson Homes for supporting our lifeline services and to everyone who has taken part. It’s a wonderful project and we know the letters and poems will help make Christmas brighter for the older people who receive them.”

Robertson Homes, which is currently building Thorn View, a development of new homes in Bearsden, is supporting Age Scotland’s Friendship Line across Scotland and is hoping the schools project will help raise awareness of the vital service.

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Sharon Spinelli added: “As a responsible builder, we care about the communities in which we build and seeing the letters written by the children at Bearsden Primary School, it is clear they are a generation of thoughtful and caring young people.

“We hope their work will raise even more awareness of Age Scotland’s fantastic services which provide a lifeline to vulnerable people.”

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