Hello again, friends! Finding creative ways to be close to isolated elderly

“Hello again, friends!”

With these words, members of the Youth for Peace in London (a movement of teens and young people tied to the Community of Sant'Egidio) have visited their older friends at the Sycamore Lodge care home in Acton Town, London.

These young teens and university students, who started the #SaveOurElderly campaign a few months ago, donated five new tablets to the residents on 10th July. This donation was in addition to three more second-hand tablets (gathered by the movement and donated by Sant’Egidio members and donours) who had been sent to the residents of the care home during the earlier difficult months.

With this gesture, we have wanted to let our older friends at the care home know” explained Laura, member of Youth for Peace London, “that we do not want to forget them during this challenging time, and that even if we cannot physically see them inside the care home yet we are still thinking of them. I am happy that we can now talk to them during the summer via the tablets”.

Indeed, with the help of Hazel, the activities coordinator of the care home, the members of Youth for Peace will be able to videocall their older friends to continue befriending them and keeping them company.

Hasana and Rukaya, two other members of the Youth for Peace movement in London, have also started the ‘Togetherness Project’ and are going to collect photos, videos, written memoirs and testimonies from care home residents, to compile a set of resources to share with other teenagers and anyone who wants to help. “We feel that older people in care homes should have a voice and should be treated with dignity” said 16-year-old Hasana, adding “the elderly are our history and our past and without them, there is no future”.

These young members of Youth for Peace have brought back the focus on our older generation, showing us that we can all help and be closer to the elderly who are most isolated and have suffered the most at these times. Society at large is responsible for the drama that has happened in the care homes: young people have taken a first step towards a safer and more humane society for all.