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West Norfolk secondary school pupils aim to lift spirits with 'kindness letters'




Students at a West Norfolk secondary school have been putting their lockdown time to good use, by writing ‘kindness letters’ to care home residents, NHS staff and local supermarkets.

Marshland High School’s pupils have been completing ‘kindness tasks’, and hope that their letters will help lift the spirits of the recipients during the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 125 students from the school, part of the West Norfolk Academies Trust, have sent letters and many have been made more personal by the pupils linking their own experiences to the current situation.

Gwen Herbert with her Kindness Letter from Marshland High School (33606009)
Gwen Herbert with her Kindness Letter from Marshland High School (33606009)

“The letters sent by our students have been so respectful and honest and have shown a great awareness of the world around them while showing sympathy to others and we are all very proud of them,” said headteacher Craig Jansen.

Residents at High Haven in Downham, Hickathrift House in Marshland St James, Rose Lodge in Wisbech, and Dove Court in Wisbech have all received letters in recent days from 44 students in Year 7.

“I am writing to you to send happy thoughts to you and to let you know that times are hard for everyone right now, but we will get through this together and everything will be okay in the end,” starts one letter to a care home.

Jean Hawes with her Kindness Letter from Marshland High School (33606016)
Jean Hawes with her Kindness Letter from Marshland High School (33606016)

“I can imagine you must get a little fed up and bored,” said another letter which went on to suggest a word game using the letters of the recipient’s name.

The 12-year-old author also said she was ‘unfortunately’ having to still do school work but had also been playing games.

A group of 42 pupils have written to local branches of Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Iceland thanking staff for their work during the lockdown. The letters have been made into displays in staff rooms and canteens.

Display of Kindness Letters from Marshland High School pupils (33606007)
Display of Kindness Letters from Marshland High School pupils (33606007)

“I am writing this letter to tell you how much my family and I think you’re doing such a great job at this difficult time," said a 13-year-old student.

“You help everyone by providing them with food and daily products we need to survive and so you all deserve a letter saying how well you have done."

“You are doing a fantastic job and people are very stressed and they do take it out on you which then makes the day harder,” a Year 9 student said.

“I think kindness and respect towards supermarket staff is very important because not everyone understands how important your job is,” he added before going on to say that he wanted to "say sorry" if the staff have been getting any abuse.

The Year 10 pupils wrote kindness letters to the ambulance stations in Lynn and Wisbech and to the communications team at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital – which produced a thank-you video in response.

“I think you are doing a marvellous job being on the front line, you must all be facing so many different emotions at the moment and I can only imagine," one student wrote.

“You are putting your own lives at risk to care for patients that are sick or even have Covid 19, that in my eyes is incredible, you are all heroes."

“Even if you’re feeling low remember you are making such a huge difference to everyone’s lives and you are the most important people in the country,” said another letter.

“Every Thursday at 8pm I stand outside my front door and clap, cheer and make noise for all the frontline people because what you’re doing is so incredibly brave. We have got rainbows and teddies in our windows to make this gloomy time a bit more happier,” said a student who added that the country would be "a mess without the NHS staff".



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