By Alesha Capone
Point Cook mother Kirsty Alley has commenced an innovative project to boost community connections and friendships during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Ms Alley has started the Facebook group Pandemic Pen Pals – Point Cook, as a place for local parents to connect their children with a pen pal located in walking or riding distance, to exchange letters with during the pandemic.
Ms Alley said the idea came from a discussion with her husband.
“We were talking about how well the kids were coping with lockdown, but we don’t know how long this will carry on,” she said.
“Earlier that day I had posted something to a friend in NSW and my kids coloured in a picture and wrote a note for her children.
“I saw how much they enjoyed it and realised that they would love having someone nearby who they could write to.”
Ms Alley said that she hoped the initiative would encourage families to go for a walk or bike ride together to deliver letters, while also reducing the stress of social isolation.
She also hopes the project helps to encourage the development of language and social skills in youngsters, while they form new friendships.
“I hope that the kids will enjoy building relationships while writing to someone or drawing pictures to exchange, whilst giving them something to do that’s not on a screen,” she said.
Ms Alley said that he has received great feedback from residents about the Pandemic Pen Pals – Point Cook project.
“So far the response has been very positive with local parents wanting to give their kids a form of connection while they are missing their friends,” she said.