Giving up a little bit of her time to put pen to paper and write postcards to care home residents was already part of Kimberley Hamilton’s life.

She had been sending cards to care homes in the Glasgow area for some months after seeing a dedicated group on social media Postcards of Kindness.

But now her gesture seems even more appropriate as elderly people face being cut off from relatives for weeks as restrictions to suppress the spread of coronavirus are put in place.

Now the Glasgow-based communications manager is encouraging other people to get involved, particularly while they might have a little more time on their hands.

“It was some time back I heard about this amazing group on social media called Postcards of Kindness. It seemed a really simple idea and something I could easily get involved with,” said Ms Hamilton.

“I had recently spent some time in and out of care homes as my late father had been a resident in one so I just wanted to help.

“It involves picking up a postcard, even a note, and writing a little message and sending it off. The Facebook page for the group makes it very easy as there is a list of care homes involved.

“I often commute to Edinburgh so I will pick up a card with a nice picture of the castle or other landmark and write a note about it or my day. It’s just the thought that you are doing something that the residents might get a little bit of enjoyment out of and be able to reminisce.”

One of the sites involved is Silverburn Care Home, Glasgow. Activities co-ordinator Joanne McWilliam said it is a great initiative and the residents are thrilled when cards arrive.

“The residents really like hearing the stories on postcards and it really cheers them up. Some cards might have a picture of, say, the Queen on them and a little bit of information is written on them. It then leads to the residents reminiscing and opening up,” said Ms McWilliam.

“It is something we build into our activities programme. It can be individuals sending in cards or groups from schools or the Brownies.”

One of the Postcards of Kindness co-ordinators said word is beginning to spread and they have noticed new people finding their group in the past few days.

Louise Baker said: “Postcards of Kindness started life as a small-scale project between my company’s care homes. We wanted to inspire conversations, jog memories and bring smiles into our care homes, and asked for people to send an extra postcard when they went on holiday. We wanted residents to know they were always thought of, and encourage them to chat to staff, family members and one another about things they remembered about holidays.

“The response was phenomenal, to put it mildly. Last year we decided we didn’t want to keep those moments to ourselves, and I founded Postcards of Kindness – The Group to connect care homes across the country with people who might wish to keep in touch.

“Our aim was to keep residents a part of their local communities and beyond, to bring so many opportunities for happy chatting, and to break down barriers of isolation and loneliness.”

She said that with increasing numbers of care homes in lockdown the group is even more important and already they have seen new members join.

Ms Baker added: “Royal Mail has said it remains safe to send postcards and letters. They are following the advice closely, and state there is no increased risk to care homes from mail received."