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Chatter box Maureen story at Colton Court

The much-forgotten art of letter writing has been adopted between the Montessori Children’s Centre in McLaren Vale and residents at Colton Court residential care home to create and maintain their connections.

For many years children from Montessori and residents have regularly come together however, when face-to-face catchups aren’t possible because of the pandemic, they’re connecting through letters instead.

The children are enthusiastically penning letters and sending artworks which are delivered to Colton Court’s letterbox named ‘The Chatterbox’. Residents’ families, Colton Court staff and their children also join in on writing letters and cards.

Maureen, who lives at Colton Court, makes it her mission to ensure that every letter gets to its recipient, whilst also using the opportunity to connect with fellow residents.

“The letters are heartfelt and have helped to bring joy to residents,” Maureen said.

Maureen and the chatter box at Colton Court nursing home in McLaren Vale

Maureen picks up the letters from The Chatterbox, then delivers and reads the letters to residents, also describing each attached drawing if the letter features one.

“I don’t think what I do is a big deal. I am simply collecting the mail, reading it out – and hopefully, that makes someone smile,” she said.

“Seeing someone feel happy is what makes me do it each week.”

Amy Ewens, Lifestyle Coordinator at Colton Court, said Maureen has a nurturing personality and wanted to ensure that residents who may be lacking mobility at any given time would not miss out on receiving the letters.

“Maureen loves to be involved and helps out in various activities. When she delivers the letters to other residents, she knows how to break the ice, make them smile and engage in conversation,” Amy said.

“The joy a person gets from opening a letter lets them know that they are very much an important part of our community and there are people thinking about them.”

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