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Local students put pen to paper for Banbury care home

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Residents at a Banbury care home did not let the pandemic stop them from making new friends.

The intergenerational pen pal initiative began when Care UK’s Highmarket House, on North Bar Place, received letters from Year 3 pupils at Carrdus School.

Local students put pen to paper for Banbury care home

The letters were sent earlier this year as care homes started to go into lockdown, and shared with residents during a reading aloud session at the home. The pupils’ words gave residents the opportunity to reminisce about their own school years, families and childhoods as they wrote back.  

With pupils now back at school, residents and pupils are planning to resume their pen pal scheme. Some of the letters are set to be included in a time capsule created by the residents at Highmarket House, which will be buried in the home’s garden once restrictions are lifted.  

Resident at Highmarket House, Janet Wood, said: “I joined the Girl Guides at 11 and then went on to be Girl Guide Leader, having a short break to have my children, then returning as Commissioner of a new District up until retirement.  I have always loved children and was overjoyed to receive written letters.  Writing letter seems to be a lost art and they have made me very happy – I particularly loved the photo of the girls opening my letters.”

Jo Pohl, home manager at Highmarket House, said: “The letters arrived out of the blue, but were a most welcome surprise for residents, especially during uncertain times.

“Intergenerational relationships have proven to be enriching for both sides, as they provide an opportunity for children and residents to learn from each other. The letters have been  a real conversation starter too; we loved hearing about residents’ school years, childhood homes and families growing up. This is no doubt that this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between our home and pupils at Carrdus School, so we look forward to receiving more letters!”

Highmarket House is a state-of-the-art care home which provides full-time residential, dementia, nursing and short-term respite care. The home, which features 73 en-suite bedrooms, has been designed to enable its residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence. The care home incorporates space for hobby and leisure activities and includes its own cinema, hairdressing salon and café.

For more information email customer relations manager, Sophie Holmes, at or call 01295 297 652.

For more general information, please visit:

Open to new residents

(Behind the Cromwell Hotel), North Bar Place, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 0TD

Highmarket House

CQC Rating: Good
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Day club

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