Hugs have been flying out the Junior School and winging their way to Care UK’s Pear Tree Court residential home as part of Care UK’s ‘Hug A Care Home’ initiative.

Created by Creative Minds which specialises in making art accessible to everyone, the initiative is designed to help spread positivity to care homes, and give the residents a way of connecting to the community during the pandemic. The Junior School have loved taking part. The pupils were particularly excited to receive letters back from the residents of Pear Tree Court.

Pupils in Year 3 wrote to the residents to tell them all about their trip to the Spinnaker Tower. “Because we had such an exciting day, we thought it would be nice to write about our experience to cheer them up during such challenging times,” said Ollie B in Year 3. “To our surprise and delight, they wrote back to us thanking us for cheering them up and how they would treasure our letters forever. I was very proud of this and it made me feel very special.”

“When we returned back to school we wrote to the residents of Pear Tree Court about our brilliant trip to Spinnaker Tower,” said Ella A, also in Year 3. “It was an amazing trip and I felt very lucky to be able to share it with them. A few weeks later the class was really happy to receive replies from the residents of Pear Tree Court. I was so excited to find two envelopes for me. I couldn’t open them fast enough. Inside were very pretty cards with kind words. It was so nice that they took time to reply to me. I will always remember them.”

Year 6 also took part in the initiative. “What a difference just a little effort and time made,” said Andrew S. “We made so many people happy and would definitely do it again.”

“As a staff member, I want to say thank you to Mrs Giles, Miss Carter, Mrs Sayers and the pupils at The Portsmouth Grammar Junior School for making the residents at Pear Tree Court smile during this pandemic,” said Jacqui, Head of Activities at Pear Tree Court. “The residents loved seeing the hands created for the ‘Hug a Care Home’ project, and reading the positive messages on them. We also all really enjoyed receiving the postcards that the pupils had written and being able to write our own messages back to show our gratitude. Having that communication with the ‘outside world’ and knowing that people care, has been uplifting for the residents. Hopefully, in time, we will be able to say thank you in person. We hope you all have a Merry Christmas!”