YOPEY is appealing for schools in the East of England to ‘write letters to the Queen’ to mark the Platinum Jubilee in a scheme backed by the Queen’s representatives in the region.
All the letters will be shared by YOPEY with elderly people living in care homes. The best letters will then be chosen by YOPEY’s founder, Tony Gearing, who was made an MBE by the Queen.
The best letters will then be forwarded to the Queen by either Tony or the Lord-Lieutenants, who represent Her Majesty in each of the counties that make up the East of England – Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.
“Elderly people living in care homes are big fans of the Queen,” said Tony. “They will love to be included in these conversations between schoolchildren and the monarch.”
Tony said the young could write about how they celebrated the Platinum Jubilee or they could write about their interests.
He gave these examples:
• 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 ….’
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.”
The Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Mrs Helen Nellis, 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.”
Each letter should be on a single side of paper, then photographed or scanned, and the digital file emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Personalised certificates will be made for each school that takes part.
YOPEY used to run Young People of the Year awards, mainly in the East of England, and now runs award-winning befriending schemes between schools and care homes from its HQ in Suffolk.
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 2,000 care homes across the UK.