Salvation Army care homes and day centres receive hundreds of Valentines cards from anonymous authors
published on 14 Feb 2019
Hundreds of Salvation Army care home residents and older people’s day centre guests are feeling the love this Valentine’s Day thanks to generous strangers writing uplifting and hopeful notes from across the UK.
Cards have been delivered throughout the week to Salvation Army care homes and centres in West Sussex, Lewisham, Coventry, St Albans and Southend-on-the-sea as part of a Red Letter Days campaign to help combat loneliness and share Valentine’s love with people who may otherwise not be receiving a card.
When the cards arrived at Villa Adastra in West Sussex, the group of men and women in their 80s and 90s gathered in the lounge for morning coffee and fruit and each resident was invited to read their letter or poem aloud. Memories were stirred of past Valentine's Days and happy times spent with loved ones.
Residents were also happy to welcome local broadcast media crews to the home once again, following Villa Adastra's appearance as part of ITV Meridian's 'Caring at Christmas' feature in December, prompting resident Betty to say to ITV reporter Tom, "Do you come here often?!" causing both to break into laughter.
Cards and letters were also delivered to Eva Burrows day centre, an older peoples’ club in Eastbourne, and to the drop-in facility for people experiencing homelessness in Eastbourne.
With more than one fifth of the UK’s population admitting that they are always or often lonely*, Red Letter Days encouraged the public to take a moment to write a card to a total stranger whose day could be brightened by a thoughtful message, well wishes, or a funny story.
Pop-up letter boxes were hosted in shops, galleries and offices across London, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham, including The Salvation Army’s charity shop on Princes Street in central London.
Red Letter Days’ Alison Vickery said while Valentine’s Day can be an occasion of love and affection for many, it can also exacerbate feelings of isolation and loneliness.
“This is why we’re encouraging members of the public to write a heartwarming message to a complete stranger this year, to help make Valentine’s Day an uplifting occasion for all… make Valentine’s Day about more than just the romantic loves in our lives - by celebrating the love and kindness humanity can so easily show one another.”