CREATIVE pre-schoolers at a Swindon nursery have been doodling and drawing to cheer up hospital patients and people living in care homes over the last few weeks.

Children at the Little Pioneers Nursery in Great Western Hospital wanted to spread some joy during lockdown after they learned that people who were poorly or living in care homes could not see any visitors.

The youngsters quickly got to work making colourful pictures of sunflowers, rainbows and pirates amongst other things to bring a bit of cheer to the elderly and vulnerable during this difficult time.

The under-fives sent their sketches to patients at Great Western Hospital and got in touch with the nearby Wemyss Lodge care home to see how they could help keep people’s spirits up.

Since then, the kind-hearted little ones have been sharing their photos and drawings, and struck up a pen-pal relationship with delighted care home residents who have sent their own letters and drawings over to them in return.

Little Pioneers Nursery manager Tracy Rundle said: “We hope that by building these relationships we can raise a smile and let people know that we are thinking about them during lockdown at a time when they may not be able to see their family and friends.

“Bringing old and young people together helps build the children’s confidence and social skills, while older people experience better physical and mental health.

“It can be so much lonelier in care homes when the people living there can’t see their loved ones, so it’s been even more important for us all to keep in touch and spread a little happiness.

“The care home residents have told us how touched they have been by the messages from the children and it’s a relationship we want to continue going forward.”

The nursery is part of Co-op Midcounties. It teamed up with the care home as part of the Generation Play programme run by all of the Co-op Childcare nurseries.

Little Pioneers Nursery welcomes up to 112 children aged from three months to five-years-old every weekday. To find out more call 0800 954 0669.