Bristol man aims to bring cheer to coronavirus isolated elderly in message campaign, ‘PenPal2020’


Bristol man aims to bring cheer to coronavirus isolated elderly in message campaign, ‘PenPal2020’

A Bristol man is aiming to use social media to send children’s heart-warming messages and drawings to elderly people across the country.

Pete Cann, the owner of the Bristol catering company, Back-2-Front, is trying to turn the slowdown in his sector into an opportunity to bring the young and old together in the wake of school closures and self-isolation for the most vulnerable.Penpal2020

Pete explains, ‘Part of my job is to put chefs into nursing homes so I’ve quite a lot of experience in visiting care homes and talking to the residents. I’m also a dad to two young kids who are currently at home from school and looking for fun ways to pass the days.’

Pete continues, ‘ So I had the idea to ask children to either write a message or story or do a lovely drawing and then I can send them to care homes around the country. Obviously the aim is for one generation to speak to another and spread some joy and excitement at a really difficult time for care home residents who can no longer see their loved ones due to the coronavirus crisis.’

Pete’s penpal2020 plan is that children spend about thirty minutes to an hour to compose a letter, draw a picture, write a story or a song or even color in an image. Once completed, parents would be asked to take a photo of the work and then email the image, along with the child’s first name, age, and location in the subject line. Alternatively, parents can post it to a Facebook page. Then Pete and his team will print out the image and send it to a resident in a care home local to the entrant. There is no cost involved, other than the time it takes to write or draw.

Pete has already began the penpal2020 campaign by sending out the details to all of his business contacts across the country and has already begun to receive responses [attached images]. Pete is hopeful that by using social and mainstream media to spread the word about ‘PenPal 2020’, every one of the 500,000 residents that are currently in care homes across the country will receive some joy and happiness in the post.

Note to editors:

Central email for ‘PenPal 2020’ is

Facebook for ‘Penpal 2020’ is

Pete Cann is a Director of Back-2-Front, a chef recruitment company based in Kingswood, Bristol.

Contact details for Pete Cann are: – 01179041001