My Dear New Friend

Added 13 Nov 2020
Girl posting letter

Dear teacher,

Thank you so much for your interest in My Dear New Friend.

We are encouraging children to exchange letters with older adults in care homes to increase the children’s motivation to write and to help combat loneliness among older adults.


The resources we have provided to help you do this are:

  • letter writing paper for pupils
  • a letter template and writing prompts for pupils
  • an editable cover letter to your local care home manager
  • an introductory letter from the founder of this initiative, Alice Irwin

Model letters

If your pupils need additional support with letter writing, there are some excellent models on an incredible range of topics at Some of our favourite child-friendly examples include:

For the purposes of safeguarding, please ensure that children do not include any personal details in their letter, such as their surname, home address or phone number. We suggest that all letters just include pupils’ first name and the school address and would encourage care homes to do the same.

Find a care home partner

You can search for local registered care homes on the CQC's website.

Alternatively, we still have some spaces remaining on our funded My Dear New Friend project, where we will partner you with a care home and send you letter writing materials for a class. You can express your interest here.

Get parents involved

We originally launched this activity during lockdown and it was our most popular activity among parents. You could set letter writing as a holiday homework or blended learning activity using this link for parents.

Tell us about your new friendships

Please share examples of the letters your pupils write and any photos showing how the new friendships develop with us:

On Twitter and/or Instagram: @Literacy_Trust #MyDearNewFriend

By email: confirming permission for us to use the image on social media, our website or in communications to our funders.

We look forward to hearing about your new friendships.

Yours faithfully,

The teams at the National Literacy Trust and Care England