Australia Post has announced a new Senior Pen Pal club to help older Australians across Australia connect and discover the joy of having a pen pal.
By fostering connections between seniors’ organisations and assisting older Australians find a new friend to write to, the Senior Pen Pal club will help to relieve the issue of social isolation facing up to one in five Australians over the age of 75.
Amber Collins, Australia Post Chief Marketing Officer said having a pen pal offers a unique opportunity for older Australians to form meaningful connections with others.
“Given the events of 2020 so far, maintaining and establishing connections with others has never been more important.
“Through the Australia Post Senior Pen Pal Club, we want to offer as many senior Australians as possible the chance to connect with other like-minded people in the community.
“In recent months, we have seen just how important the Post Office is for people, particularly the vulnerable in our community including the elderly. It is a true community hub for so many, and through the Senior Pen Pal we hope to be able to strengthen those connections even further.
“Last year, Australia Post successfully launched ‘The Pen Pal Club’, an educational letter writing program aimed at primary schools and involving 8,253 classrooms to date, and we are very proud to offer a similar program to the seniors in our community,” Ms Collins continued.
National peak body for seniors, Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia’s Chief Executive Ian Yates AM said the Australia Post Senior Pen Pal Club can help build connection and community.
“Older Australians have a lifetime of experience knowing the value of friendship, connection, and community, but many find themselves facing loneliness and isolation – something that has been exacerbated in recent months due to the Covid19 pandemic.
“The Senior Pen Pal Club is a great example of older Australians helping older Australians, and it is great to see Australia Post supporting people in this way,” Mr Yates continued.
The Australia Post Senior Pen Pal Club is available to all senior organisations including retirement estates, aged care facilities, senior citizens clubs, Probus and 3UA.
To get involved in the initiative a representative from seniors’ organisations need to register their facility, club or estate online. Following this, they will be paired with a corresponding organisation and given tips on how to get started, along with letter templates and guides for inspiration.
Registrations are now open, and more information about the Australia Post Senior Pen Pal Club is available at auspost.com.au/senior-penpal-club.