Children are being urged to draw pictures and write letters to care home residents to help them feel connected during the coronavirus pandemic.
Scotmid Cooperative came up with the Sharing Smiles project after many care homes and support facilities around the country went into lockdown, leaving residents unable to spend time with family and friends.
The letters and drawings will be shared with care providers to be distributed among residents to help them feel connected to the community.
Scotmid said it has been overwhelmed by the response since it launched the initiative via its social media channels.
Scotmid communities manager Lynne Ogg, who is responsible for the initiative, said: “Scotmid has been serving communities for 160 years.
“With the outbreak of coronavirus and subsequent lockdown, we began thinking of how we could keep serving some of our most vulnerable members in communities via a different channel – and came up with Sharing Smiles.
“Since launching, more than 50 care providers from across Scotland have contacted us to say they would like to be included to receive pictures and letters.
“It’s a simple idea but a great way to keep children busy whilst also providing a valuable task that will help connect them with others at this difficult time.
“Schools have also been in touch to say they are sending the details out to parents to get involved and a care home in Inverness has said they would like to both receive and share artwork they have been working on. We hope to be able to share a lot of smiles in the weeks ahead.”
Scotmid is asking for drawings and letters to be sent in by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
They will be collated by the communities team before being sent on to care providers who can print them off and distribute them to residents.
Christine Thomas, service manager at Capability Scotland, said: “We are a large charity that supports people with disabilities to live their best life ever.
“Life for our customers has changed dramatically over the past week, as they are now advised to go into isolation to ensure they stay safe and healthy.
“Contact with the outside world is precious, so it was hugely uplifting to read an email entitled ‘stay connected’; what a wonderfully touching idea this is.
“One of our social media hashtags is #creatingsmiles and being part of this project will most definitely achieve that.”