South Yorkshire causes combine for writing workshop to aid isolated older people

Dozens of magical stories of wonder and intrigue are set to brighten the days of isolated older people, thanks to a fairy-tale partnership between two much loved South Yorkshire charities.

Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (SCCCC) has teamed up with Rotherham-based literacy charity Grimm & Co to stage a creative writing workshop for 12 older children next month.

The aim of the session will be to get the young people aged 14 or over- to ignite their imaginations and come up with tales which can be sent to older people as part of SCCCC’s popular pen pal scheme.

SCCCC launched its pen pal service early in last year’s lockdown, when the pandemic put its Good Neighbour Scheme on hold.

The charity has kept the pen pal letters flowing though even as restrictions have lifted- and now wants to take things to the next level by sending stories as well as traditional letters.

Tammy Wilson, who manages the pen pal scheme at SCCCC, said: “When the pandemic hit we were really concerned that our service users would be more lonely and isolated than ever before. Our volunteers were unable to do their usual weekly friendly visits so we wanted to put something else in place, which is why we established the pen pal scheme.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the public’s response to the scheme, but thought it would be a fantastic idea to get young people involved and send something a little bit different and entertaining to an isolated older person- for whom many, television is their only company.” 

Literacy charity, Grimm & Co, champions the writer in every child and aims to change lives, one story at a time.  It provides exciting writing workshops to children and young people, unleashing imaginations through the joyful discovery of stories. The free workshops cover comedy writing and stories, to poems, plays and monologues, giving the young people a reason to write and showcasing their wonderful creations. They promote self-esteem, raise literacy levels and build confidence. 

Katie Turner, Creative Learning Manager for out-of-school activities at Grimm and Co, said: "We cannot wait to team up with SCCCC and their truly heart-warming pen pal scheme. Here at Grimm & Co, we specialise in providing stories to the magical beings that frequent our shop, but for this particular event, we're looking forward to a group of mini-mortals providing a bit of story magic for the older community in Rotherham and Sheffield." 

The SCCCC and Grimm and Co. workshop takes place on 29 September at 4pm-5pm, at the Garden Room, Clifton Park Museum. To sign up, visit  

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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