Young Hackney pirates send postcards to isolating older residents

A young Hackney pirate delivers his postcard.

A young Hackney pirate delivers his postcard. - Credit: The Literacy Pirates

A book of lockdown letters has been published online after Hackney children sent postcards to older residents isolating during the pandemic. 

Young pirates, from educational charity The Literacy Pirates, based in Hackney, Haringey and online, have created a book called Thinking of You with help from local artist, Christine Hooper and Age UK.

Artist Christine came up with the idea, which saw young people send messages of hope to older residents.

In the notes, children from The Literacy Pirates programme talk about everyday rituals, what they have been missing during lockdown and their hopes for when things might return to normal.


A hand written post card from a young person in Hackney

A card from the Thinking of You postcard project which reads: "Sorry you can't see your family members this year. Hopefully you can see them next year." - Credit: The Literacy Pirates

A spokesperson from the charity said: "The Literacy Pirates hope to spread happiness and cheer in their community and beyond with their digital book compiling these beautifully decorated postcards.

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"This has been a very difficult year, but endeavours like this show us that the best thing we can do right now is show kindness to others and look out for those who are lonely or struggling at this time."

Art packs and blank postcards designed by Christine were sent out to young people to use for writing their letters aided by a virtual two day "ship session". 

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Almost 40 postcards were decorated and sent to vulnerable Age UK contacts, offering handwritten personal messages from young pirates. On the reverse of each card were details of Age UK services and an opportunity to write back to the young person. 

One message read: " I am writing this to you so you know you’re not alone."

Another said: " This year has been a rollercoaster but things will get better. Through rough times there is soft. I send a postcard to ask of your wellbeing.

"I learnt a whole lot of maths sums up until quarantine. Everything went crazy and toilet roll was like diamonds. I wish for peace in 2021."

A Thinking of You postcard sent to elderly residents.

Another Thinking of You postcard reads: "What a weird year it has been?" - Credit: The Literacy Pirates

The project was funded by the charitable arm of Clarion Housing Group, Clarion Future, in partnership with Age UK East London. It commenced in December 2020.

To read or download the ‘Thinking of You’ Book visit

To donate to The Literacy Pirates or Age UK and support the work they do visit and

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