Coronavirus: Lostock Hall mum and three-year-old daughter's heart-warming mission during Covid-19 outbreak

Lostock Hall mum Joy Helliwell with her three-year-old daughterEden and husband Shaun.
Lostock Hall mum Joy Helliwell with her three-year-old daughterEden and husband Shaun.

A Lostock Hall and her three-year-old daughter put smiles on the faces of elderly care home residents by sending them letters and drawings.

Teacher Joy Helliwell helped Eden to create the letters and artwork last week to help older people living at Lostock Lodge Care Home, Chestnut Growth Rest Home, and Willowbrooke Residential Care Home, feel less lonely.

The gesture cheered up residents at Lostock Lodge so much that staff decided to launch their own appeal for letters.

Joy (37) said: "It's a nice thing for people to keep hold of and to discuss with other residents. It shows them that someone cares. There have been so many negative things going round that I bet the elderly feel really disconnected.

"And Eden got so much enjoyment from it that I think we will continue doing things like that once all this is over."

In fact, the mum-of-one says that doing good deeds is helping her family to cope with isolation.

"We've been really positive about being stuck at home. We can bake, go out in the garden and get out toys we don't normally play with," said Joy.

"Some of my friends have said their children are feeling anxious and are quite unsettled being out of school.

"But Eden is completely oblivious to it. She knows there is a virus and that we need to wash our hands and stay indoors. But because we've been talking about how we can help other people, she doesn't seem to be daunted.

"We have little control over the virus but we can control how we treat people.

"I've seen people say on social media that it is making them anxious.

"But I think it's making me more resilient, as I've had to be creative in how I do things.

"I was talking to my gran, who's 86, and she said she remembers she felt the same when she was growing up during the war. People knew the war was going on but they were mainly focused on looking after each other. They felt they were in it together."

She added: "I've been taking photos of all our activities because I want Eden to remember what it was like when we were stuck at home and thought about others, and how that helped us to get through it all."

When Joy explained to Eden why they could not visit her grandparents, and that they did not have access to the internet, the pair decided to write them a letter and draw pictures.

"My parents loved their letters and said it was nice that Eden was thinking of them. Many older people don't have that," said Joy.

That's when Eden tasked if they could do the same for other elderly people.

"I don't know where she gets it from. At Christmas, she asked for a scooter but she also asked for presents for boys and girls who are poor," said Joy.

"She's always bothered about things like this. When I said we wouldn't be able to go out to buy our regular magazine, she was worried about the impact on the woman who sells them."

Staff at Joy's high school in Bolton, where she works as a citizenship teacher, were also inspired by Eden's letter writing and plan to ask students of key workers to do the same.

It has also encouraged Eden's dad Shaun Buckley, who runs Cutting Edge Joinery and re-develops properties, to do more to help others.

Joy added: "Shaun said, 'We're so blessed because of what we have. We have toilet roll and food in the cupboard. We don't want for anything.'

"Me doing things with Eden has made him think. And when this is over, he wants the community to nominate older people who need jobs doing in their home, and he'll go over and do it.

"He's been so successful relocating his business from Manchester, a city where he had so many big contacts, to Lostock Hall - and he's still turning down work. So he wants to give back to the community."