Pen pals light up seniors’ day

Ascham has a long history of giving, supporting and connecting with the community.

Why do we do this?

Because it’s in our ethos as a School community. It is not new and it’s a natural value of every Ascham girl, past and present. Now is no different to any other time in connecting with and volunteering for our community.

The dynamics, hurdles and sheer speed at which we were presented with COVID-19 as a community has quickly thrown us some new challenges. This was certainly the case for our Senior students at Ascham who would normally be volunteering after school in term time, face-to-face in either an aged-care or primary school setting.

As a combined initiative for aged-care residents, both Lulworth House (Elizabeth Bay) and Beresford Hall (Rose Bay) teamed with us to implement a pen pal project. (Additionally, Crown Street Public School’s afterschool care program have also come on board with a pen pal project with Ascham Senior students.) This new connection to community has been received with tremendous popularity and sincerity from a large majority of Years 7 to 12 Ascham students. The aged-care residents from both facilities gratefully welcomed the girls’ letters and stories with ‘virtual open arms’. The stories of hearing about a loved pet, to favourite books, holidays, hobbies, family and what life is like in someone’s else’s day, has been both uplifting and comforting for those reading it. The kindness and community spirit shown by our Senior students has again reiterated their belief and willingness to give back in any way, shape or form, regardless of any hurdle.

This warm and personal communication reminds us that we can make a difference to someone’s day, week, month or even year. It again highlights that at its core, Ascham has an entrenched value system that speaks volumes and remains unswerving.

Image: Year 11 student Natania Washaya writes to her pen pal at Lulworth House

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