A South Yorkshire manufacturing firm has put pen to paper in support of a charity scheme aiming to cut older people’s isolation in Sheffield.

Staff at Gripple, the world-leading wire joiner and fastener manufacturer, have written letters for Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care’s (SCCCC) popular pen pal scheme.

SCCCC launched the scheme when the pandemic forced its flagship Good Neighbour Scheme to be postponed.

With regular visits from its volunteers off the table, the charity asked people to write to its service users instead, to help reduce isolation and loneliness, and to boost their mood.

The ‘happy post’ initiative proved so successful that the charity decided to keep it going even as coronavirus restrictions eased- with businesses like Gripple amongst those now getting involved.

Eleanor Johnson Central Marketing and Communications Manager, at Gripple, said: “I met Ericka on a networking call and she spoke about the pen pal scheme. It immediately stood out as such a simple way to bring a smile to someone’s day. I emailed out a request to Gripple staff and some people responded straight away. This is something we will look to do every month and hope it helps break the loneliness for the recipients. We are hoping to get more involved with SCCCC’s other activities in the future.”


Ericka Hill, Fundraiser at SCCCC, said: “Every single piece of post has the potential to make someone’s week, so we really are so grateful for any letters we receive. When proud local companies like Gripple get involved, it helps us to spread the happiness even further. The fact that they also occupy a neighbouring office building, makes it feel even more special!”


If anyone would like to write to an older person via SCCCC, they can be sent to Pen Pal Scheme, SCCCC, Unit 19 President Buildings, Savile Street East, S4 7UQ, where they will be forwarded on appropriately.


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