VETERANS have been cheered during the coronavirus lockdown thanks to letters written by Prestwich school pupils.

Students from Prestwich Arts College have been writing from home to pen pals at Broughton House Care Village for ex-servicemen and women, to raise their spirits and thank them for their service.

The school's council has also nominated Broughton House as its chosen charity and raised hundreds of pounds so far through a variety of activities ­— including a recent at-home sponsored silence.

The letter-writing activity was devised by College headteacher Rachel Evans as part of the students' home-schooling routine.

Year 7 pupil Mason Jones drafted in his younger brother, Jackson, to help write to Andrew Hewitt, Broughton House’s longest-serving resident, who served in the RAF.

Prestwich and Whitefield Guide: Prestwich school pupil 'pen pals' Mason Jones, and his brother, Jackson, write their letters to ex-serviceman and Broughton House resident, Andrew HewittPrestwich school pupil 'pen pals' Mason Jones, and his brother, Jackson, write their letters to ex-serviceman and Broughton House resident, Andrew Hewitt

Mason said: “I really enjoyed writing to Andrew because I know residents can’t see friends or family at the moment – I wanted to see how they are and not to feel lonely.

“I got my brother involved because the more letters we could send, the more we could make them happy. We focused on thanking the veterans for everything they’ve done for us and our country, as well as letting them know how proud we are of them.”

Year 11 student Eman Rashid went the extra mile with her letter to Tom Stott, who also served in the RAF.

She turned her letter into a greetings card with images that related to Tom’s service in the armed forces.

Prestwich and Whitefield Guide: Prestwich school pupil 'pen pal' Eman Rashid's card for ex-serviceman and Broughton House resident, Tom StottPrestwich school pupil 'pen pal' Eman Rashid's card for ex-serviceman and Broughton House resident, Tom Stott

She said: “I wanted to make Tom feel recognised for what he accomplished and what he did for our country while in the RAF.

"It took me a couple hours to think of what I was going to make, because I wanted to write a letter but also make a card for him.

“I took my time figuring out what I was going write because I wanted him to read my letter and feel like it wasn’t from a stranger but from someone who cared.

"I focused my letter on raising Tom’s spirits – I really wanted Tom to feel special and to put a smile on his face.”

Fellow Broughton House resident Joan Jones was so moved by her letter she penned a reply to Reece Toole in Year 7.

Prestwich and Whitefield Guide: Ex-servicewoman and Broughton House resident, Joan Jones, reads her letter from Prestwich school pupil 'pen pal'Ex-servicewoman and Broughton House resident, Joan Jones, reads her letter from Prestwich school pupil 'pen pal'

Joan was in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, joining when she was just 18-years-old.

She served during World War II as a teleprinter and was responsible for sending messages to secret agents in France.

Broughton House, in Park Lane, Salford, is currently being transformed into the UK’s first Veteran Care Village, as part of a £15 million redevelopment.

When completed, the two-acre site will feature a 64-bedroom care home, up to 30 independent living apartments, a military support hub, a memorial park, and landscaped gardens with a bowling green and bandstand.

Prestwich and Whitefield Guide: Broughton House Veteran Care Village in Park Lane, Salford. Photo: Google MapsBroughton House Veteran Care Village in Park Lane, Salford. Photo: Google Maps

Laura Carr, community and events fundraiser at Broughton House, said: “It means the world to know that we have continued support for our veteran residents from all the staff and students at Prestwich Arts College.

"The letters brought many smiles to their faces and strengthened the growing bond we have with the school.

“The relationship enables our residents to get to know and understand the local community more, and feel reassured that there’s a lot of love and support out there for them – it’s incredibly uplifting during these strange times.

“The kindness that staff and students at Prestwich Arts College have shown is a great boost to all concerned at Broughton House and we cannot thank them enough.

“Seeing the younger generation so enthusiastic about our veterans is really heart-warming.

"Funds raised by the school are essential to the veterans in our care and will help ensure we can continue to care for those who served us.”