Gentoo calls for children to help keep elderly tenants’ spirits up

We're asking for children across Wearside to deliver letters, drawings, cards and positive messages to lift the spirits of elderly tenants in our sheltered and extra care schemes across Sunderland.

We house hundreds of elderly and vulnerable tenants across our eight schemes and have launched the appeal to help put a smile back on the faces of those unable to leave their properties during the Coronavirus pandemic.  

The essential government guidance on social distancing has resulted in many becoming confined to their home alone and unable to see friends or family as part of their usual routines. In an effort to combat the isolation, we are calling on the known kindness of children in Sunderland to help remind tenants they are not alone through a heartfelt letter or drawing.

Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Gentoo Group said:

“Gentoo employees are working incredibly hard to ensure the wellbeing of our tenants throughout these difficult circumstances.

“And whilst following government guidelines is absolutely the right thing to do, we are aware of the impact this may have on someone’s mental health, leaving them feeling lonely and isolated.

“We know contact with others is vital for increasing morale and that’s why we’re calling on the community spirit of Sunderland to get behind our appeal and send cards, drawings, messages and letters to give these tenants a boost.”

Anyone who would like to send a picture or drawing can post it through the letterbox found at the front of the buildings, or leave them at the front door where the Scheme Manager will collect them and distribute them to the residents inside.

Letters can also be posted and a full list of the schemes can be found at:

Anyone wishing to get involved is asked to adhere to social distancing guidelines and only travel to the schemes if they can do so safely as part of their daily exercise.