Luton and Dunstable youngsters urged to write to The Queen and help bring a smile to elderly living in care homes

A charity has appealed for Luton and Dunstable schools to 'write letters to the Queen' to mark the Platinum Jubilee in a scheme backed by the Queen's representative in Bedfordshire.

By Lynn Hughes
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 2:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 2:34 pm

But while most of the letters will not actually go to the Queen – they will instead be shared by the charity YOPEY with elderly people living in care homes not just in Luton and Dunstable but nationwide, helping to bring a smile to their faces.

YOPEY used to run Bedfordshire Young People of the Year and now runs award-winning befriending schemes between schools and care homes.

During the pandemic YOPEY has grown from working with a dozen care homes in the East of England to sending young people's letters to people across the UK.

Schoolchildren are being urged to write to the Queen

"Elderly people living in care homes are big fans of the Queen," said YOPEY founder Tony Gearing MBE.

"They will love to be included in these imaginary conversations between schoolchildren and the monarch."

Tony gave examples of what YOPEY is looking for:

> A primary age pupil might write: 'Dear Queen, my name is Molly. I love ponies. I know you love horses. Here is a drawing of me on my pony.'

> An older secondary school student might write: 'Your Majesty. My name is Tom. When I leave school I want to do a job that involves travel. I’m told you are the Head of the Commonwealth and it contains 54 countries. I have been on holiday to Malta. I understand Malta is a member of the Commonwealth. I believe you have visited many, many countries – which is your favourite? I’d imagine it is ….'

Read More

Read More
Luton primary school celebrates the Royal Platinum Jubilee

Tony explained: "The young will be writing about their lives and reflecting on what they know about the Queen."

The letters will not just bring smiles to the faces of the elderly, they will be good for people suffering from dementia.

"Even people living with dementia may not have forgotten older events from the Queen's 70-year reign such as her coronation. Having the young people's letters read to them will help them to remember."

YOPEY will choose about 20 letters to be sent to the Queen, which may get a reply.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, who represents the Queen in the county, said: “I’m delighted to hear that young people are marking Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by writing letters to let The Queen know what they did to celebrate her wonderfully long reign.

"It is so important that we learn about the Monarchy and appreciate just how much the Queen and other members of the Royal Family contribute to this country and the Commonwealth.

"I hope that the young people enjoy the jubilee weekend in the knowledge that they are contributing to our history by sharing their stories and engaging with our older people. Well done to you all!”

Each letter should be on a single side of paper, photographed or scanned, and emailed to [email protected]. Personalised certificates will be awarded to schools who take part but not individuals.