Send A Smile

An initiative, launched by McCarthy Stone and in partnership with the children’s literacy charity Coram Beanstalk in 2020 aimed at keeping up the spirits of residents across all our communities during the period of isolation during the Covid lockdown. This initiative is no longer running.

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In these challenging times, our residents must stay in their apartments while self-isolating, as they adhere to the Government’s strict social-distancing rules. Meanwhile schools are closed with children having to be home-schooled by their parents. This means children are denied their usual routine while residents are missing time spent with friends and family.

In response to this, our Send A Smile initiative aims to keep our communities connected and bring some happiness to our residents during this difficult time. We are asking children of all ages to send letters, stories, poems and pictures to our residents – to lift their spirits and bring a smile to their faces.

By connecting McCarthy Stone residents with children around the UK, we hope the campaign will also reignite the lost art of letter (or email) writing and bring the generations together to share their experiences during this time of isolation.


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A few words on Coram Beanstalk…

As you may already know, McCarthy Stone have already raised an incredible £220,000 for Coram Beanstalk. We wanted to find a way for this great work to continue whilst we’re all staying at home, so we’ve reunited with Coram Beanstalk to think about how we can help. We’re very excited about the result – our new pen pal campaign, Send a Smile.

Life is better when everyone can read well and express themselves confidently. As the UK’s leading literacy charity Coram Beanstalk do some amazing work supporting children to read. They recruit and train volunteers to provide one-to-one literacy support in early years settings and primary schools to children who have fallen behind with their reading.

These volunteers transform the lives of the children they support, turning them into confident, passionate and able readers, so we are delighted that they have agreed to be part of this initiative.
For more information about Coram Beanstalk, to volunteer your time, or to support them, visit:

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The outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted everyone in many ways and changed our way of life dramatically. On March 20th educational settings across England shut their doors for an unknown period of time. We know that 1 in 4 children leave school unable to read well. The effects of COVID-19 will push many more children back even further: we cannot allow even greater disparities in children’s reading confidence and skills to emerge. We’re proud to be working with our partner, McCarthy Stone, on this exciting initiative which finds an innovative and fun way to support children. Send a Smile will help to improve children’s reading skills whilst also connecting communities during this uncertain time. I’d like to thank McCarthy Stone for your unwavering commitment to Coram Beanstalk and the UK’s children.