I had been partnered with my Younger Friend for just under a year when we were placed in the first
lockdown. Both of us found it difficult I think, but I stayed in touch via weekly cards and letters as she
didn’t seem keen to communicate via phone or FaceTime. I also sent her a stamped addressed
envelope if she wanted to write back to me. She is a keen reader (we usually visited the library every
week) so I also sent her books a couple of times, as the library was closed.

Finally, we were able to meet up again in June, and I tried to dream up a few exciting activities that we
could do outdoors when the weather was nice. We had an outdoor nail salon where I showed her how
to do her nails, with glittery varnish and lots of laughing. One week we made loads of “slime” in different
colours, and most weeks we also played card games, board games and worked puzzles. Some weeks
her Dad brought her to the local park where I set up an outdoor table and chairs, other weeks I parked
around the corner from her house and we went to a local park.

Sometimes, I bought a picnic from the local Coop and we went exploring around her town or the local
parks, as well as whatever activities I provided. She also enjoys art, so I bought some inexpensive pens
and a Spirograph and we made patterns and did drawings several weeks. As she really likes cooking
(and making a mess!), I bought fairy cakes, readymade icing and decorations so she could decorate
cakes a few times. That was a real hit, I could see her confidence improve with each cake she iced and

As a celebration for the end of school, I went to McDonalds for a takeaway and put it in a heat proof
bag before driving to her to meet up for an outdoor meal and games – definite seal of approval! In
October, we made a Halloween paper chain for her to use for decorations at home.
As the days grew colder, it became more difficult to meet up outside so, at the end of October we took
the bus into town for a stroll around and shopping/lunch.

During the next lockdown we did a bit more talking via Messenger as she became a bit more used to
using it (although she is not a big conversationalist), and I also sent regular letters or postcards. I
discovered a FreePrint App that I could send her a postcard every month for just 85p with photos, so I
have been using that pretty regularly. She seems to enjoy getting a postcard with a photo of herself on
it, and I felt it was important for her to keep remembering our lovely times together and that I would still
be here at the end of lockdown.

As we were in lockdown on her birthday, I baked a giant chocolate chip cookie and did a doorstep
socially distanced drop off which seemed to go down very well. We are both really looking forward to
meeting up again, her first request was for takeaway McDonalds and lots of games which we will be
doing the end of the month. Hooray, we’re nearly there!