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Students deliver messages of hope

SHANNON students have been reaching out to residents of a nursing home who are unable to have visitors, letting them know they are not alone during the Covid-19 crisis. More than 80 students of St Caimin’s secondary school have written letters to the residents of Carrigoran House nursing home in Newmarket-on-Fergus.
Students of the school usually visit Carrigoran at Easter time, but because of restrictions surrounding the pandemic this annual event had to be cancelled. School chaplain Cora Guinnane said that the letter writing was “the next best thing” and the students at the school were delighted to get involved.
Cora explained that she and another teacher saw a similar initiative being carried out at a nursing home in Cork which had been a great success. “We thought it would be a fantastic idea to do with our students. So  I put the call out to students and teachers who would like to participate and we had a fantastic response. We normally visit Carrigoran at Easter so thought this was the next best thing. “Over 80 students took part in the initiative to write to all the residents of Carrigoran Nursing Home as they are unable to have visitors. The students wrote letters, drew pictures and took photos to remind the residents to stay hopeful in these challenging times. The students wrote about how they were finding it difficult to self isolate and not meet up with friends. Many wished they were back at school. The overall aim of the letter writing was to bring a smile to the residents in these strange times. And to wish them a happy Easter.”
Organising this endeavour had its own set of challenges, with the school closed in accordance with government guidelines. “We communicated through our school “teams” and email so a whole new way of doing things. Some letters were typed and others were handwritten. Students who wrote them took a photo and sent a shot  so then I then attached all the letters to a template.”
The letters were all gathered together and emailed to Carrigoran’s activity co-ordinator at the weekend to be printed out for the residents.

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