Nelson and Colne College Group deliver festive cheer through heart-warming ‘Cards for Kindness’ initiative

Staff and learners within the Nelson and Colne College Group have got into the seasonal spirit by creating several hundred Christmas greetings ready to deliver this festive season.

For the second consecutive year, Nelson and Colne College, Lancashire Adult Learning and Accrington and Rossendale College have leant a helping hand in the run up to the festive season by supporting Lancashire County Council and Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria’s ‘Cards for Kindness’ initiative – a scheme to reduce loneliness among older people in care homes at this time of year.

Children and parents in Lancashire Adult Learning’s Family Learning sessions right across the Red Rose County have been busy creating and signing the greeting cards, adding a personal touch during dedicated Winter Crafts classes.

Kind-hearted visitors to Lancashire Adult Learning’s Festive Market showed their caring nature by decorating cards and adding their own messages, and this year, children at the five-academy Pendle Education Trust, sponsored by the College Group, have also been keen to support the worthy cause.

Staff from the College Group are now delivering the cards to care homes across Lancashire’s 12 districts. National figures from Age UK show that 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with friends or family for a month, and that 60% of people in care homes get no visitors at all.

Nicola Hall, Lancashire Adult Learning’s Head of Curriculum for Partnership and Recruitment, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we are supporting this wonderful initiative again, especially as tackling loneliness is a key priority in Lancashire Adult Learning’s Health and Wellbeing work.

“We at LAL feel the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ agenda is very important to living happy and healthy lives, and joining this initiative again has helped our learners and staff support the ‘Give’ element of the agenda. By embedding ‘Cards for Kindness’ within our Family Learning curriculum, it has also enabled us to raise awareness of loneliness and Health and Wellbeing with our learners.

“Previously, when delivering festive cards, and similarly when we have joined the summer postcards initiative, the reactions from those receiving them have been incredibly touching and I’m looking forward to seeing the faces of people this time around.”

Louise Taylor, Director of Adult Services, Health and Wellbeing for Lancashire County Council, said: “Loneliness can have a terrible effect on people’s physical and mental health.

“It can be an issue for people in care homes who don’t always have the opportunity to spend time with their friends and family.

“Our festive cards scheme is a great way to tackle loneliness and isolation. It helps residents to discuss memories of Christmas. They build connections between each other, which helps them to feel less lonely.

“It’s great that Nelson and Colne College, Accrington and Rossendale College and Lancashire Adult Learning are supporting this scheme, together with Pendle Education Trust. If you have Christmas cards, a stamp and five minutes to spare, you can send a card to your local care home and make a real difference to someone’s life.”

Lancashire Adult Learning’s guide for Spring is out now and is full of inspiration for the new year, with courses to help adults across the Red Rose County develop a new hobby, learn a new skill, improve their wellbeing, enhance their social life, gain employment or change career.

As well as its targeted delivery and partnership work, Lancashire Adult Learning offers a huge range of planned provision across Lancashire, from Arts and Crafts to Humanities classes, Languages to Health and Wellbeing sessions and Functional Skills English and Maths and Employability courses.

In February 2018, Lancashire Adult Learning was named as the inaugural winner of the national Adult and Community Learning Provider of the Year at the TES FE Awards.

Further information about Lancashire Adult Learning can be found at www.lal.ac.uk or by calling 0333 003 1717.

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