News & Events


April 8, 2020

Who doesn’t love receiving a hand-written note full of cheery news? Or an email sharing recipes and other fun items?

As part of OCAV’s commitment to finding new ways to keeping residents connected, it has launched a pen pal service as part of its ‘Keeping in Touch’ program.

Kim D’Angelis, the Association’s Volunteers Coordinator, said the idea came from volunteers approaching her wanting to do something to keep connected through the pandemic.

“Many of our volunteers are older people, and where once they were leading busy lives, they too are being restricted to staying at home. The idea of keeping connected with other older people is appealing,” Kim said.

She said that for residents, the COVID-19 restrictions have meant that many who have no family or friends nearby are more socially disconnected than they have ever been.

Within a day of putting the word out to volunteers about the service, Kim received 20 offers for being part of the program.

“The idea of being at home with something positive to do and the chance to make new friends has certainly hit a nerve.”

Volunteers, who will include school students with whom OCAV works, will be matched with OCAV residents. Each participant will be encouraged to write uplifting notes and share photos and pictures, recipes and activity ideas.

“We don’t want volunteers talking about their health problems or trying to solve problems. The aim is to provide a bit of cheerfulness which we could all do with,” Kim said.


"I love the fact that Rushall Park residents and volunteers are so active – contributing to life in the village. The sense of the community is strong which is why I put my name on the waiting list" - Maggie Birkett.

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