DOZENS of people who have been shielding in Gowerton, Penclawdd and Loughor have received paintings and drawings made by youngsters through their letterbox along with a note informing them of the support available.

Swansea Council Local Area Coordinator Joanne Edwards came up with the idea and enlisted the help of local schools and other youngsters to help spread a bit of cheer.

She has received some lovely messages of thanks from those who received a picture saying it had cheered them up during a difficult time.

Joanne said: “As lockdown continued, understandably many people were increasingly talking about their feelings of isolation and loneliness. People were missing family and friends like never before with all social contact stopped overnight for many.

“I start thinking about what might help people feel valued, cared for and remembered again. Sometimes the small things can make a big difference in individuals’ wellbeing.”

With help from community councillors, Joanne identified people who might benefit and set to work thanks to the help of local children who created more than 50 drawings.

She added: “The artwork the children created was fantastic.

“Each picture was put inside an envelope explaining that a local child had drawn it just for them and wanted them to know that they are being thought of.

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“The feedback has been amazing.”

One resident wrote back: “I have just received your lovely letter and the wonderful painting. It has cheered me up no end and I have put it in my window so everyone can see it, thank you so much for thinking of me”.

After delivering each picture, Joanne continued to contact many of the individuals over the phone.

She said a regular call has given people the opportunity to chat about how they were doing and feeling, a chance to ask for help when needed and helped them to feel cared for and a little stronger during these last months.

Cllr Clive Lloyd, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Care & Community Health Services, said: “It’s wonderful how something as simple, yet powerful, as a child’s gift of a drawing has enabled Joanne to connect with members of the community which has now developed into individuals reaching out and setting up groups for others too.

“This is another great example of how our Local Area Coordinators have helped support communities across Swansea during the coronavirus crisis.”

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