Old lady receives letter in 1 Letter 1 Smile initiative

Charity tackles care home loneliness with letters to make residents smile

By Bethany Hemsley

Ten French cousins, aged 14 to 24, have launched the 1 Letter 1 Smile charity initiative to combat the increasing loneliness of care home residents during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The simple platform allows anyone to write letters, filled with kind words and a  picture, to isolated residents with the aim of reducing loneliness and putting a smile on their face.

The platform is entirely online to reduce any viral transmission risk. Care homes can register to receive letters by email which can then be printed and given to residents. The charity even offers to reimburse the cost of printing.

Launched just two months ago, 1 Letter 1 Smile started in France before also gaining popularity in Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Canada. So far more than 420,000 letters have been sent to 1,300 care homes.

“We wanted to create a platform that allowed anybody to engage in this crisis,” says 1 Letter 1 Smile co-founder and president Alienor Duron. “By giving a few minutes of your time you can brighten the day of an isolated elderly person.”

Alienor Duron

The 1 Letter 1 Smile campaign now hopes to start putting smiles on the faces of UK residents with a newly translated website.  UK care homes can sign up today.

To find out more and register your care home to receive letters or write a letter yourself visit https://1lettre1sourire.org/en/1-letter-1-smile/

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