Welcome to our Voxburner’s Inspiring Young People series, a blog series in which we share the stories of five of the most inspiring young people in the UK right now. Whether it’s someone who’s going good in the world, an up-and-coming entrepreneur or just someone who deserves to be shouted about, we’ll be celebrating the young people who are driving this generation. This week’s inspiring young person is Nina Andersen.
Who is Nina?
Nina is the brains behind Community Senior Music (CSM), a project in which semi-professional musicians perform in care homes, and Community Senior Letters (CSL), which pairs primary schools up with care homes around the world to help young people to write and send letters to the residents. Nina is also a Youth Ambassador for The Captain Tom Foundation.
What does Nina do?
When Nina was 16-years-old, the UK was at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and her project Community Senior Music came to halt due to serious restrictions placed across the country and, in particular, in care homes. In response, Nina launched Community Senior Letters, a project which has since gained incredible momentum and gone international.
CSL was launched in London and matched primary schools to care homes in the same borough, and was created with the aim of providing individuals with a human connection. The project tackles loneliness and also teaches young students the importance of compassion and selflessness. As Nina puts it: “A small act of kindness such as sending letters can make the world a better place.”
This non-profit community project started small, but has now reached international status, with over 250 schools and 250 care homes involved, with pairings in other UK cities such as Manchester and Bristol, as well as further afield, including Kenya, Dubai and Greece.
But it doesn’t stop there – Nina is one of The Captatin Tom Foundation’s Youth Ambassadors. The Foundation works to encourage connection between generations, which, of course, perfectly aligns itself with Community Senior Letters. CSL also appeared in the illustrated book One Hundred Reasons To Hope, which tells the positive stories from the COVID-19 pandemic, all inspired by Captian Tom.
Nina has won The Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award, was a 2022 Diana Award Recipient, was recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2022, received a British Empire Medal, and was a winner at the London Faith & Belief Community Awards 2021, plus much more.
Why does Nina inspire us?
Nina is no ordinary teenager. Her empathy, compassion and kindness is unmatched, and her determination to do good in the world is truly inspiring. Nina invested her time and energy into a group of people who are often overlooked by society and brought thousands of people joy during a truly bleak time in the world.
Nina symbolises everything that is good about Gen Z and exemplifies their awareness of and care for others. We have no doubt that great things are on the horizon for Nina and can’t wait to see what she does next.
A word from Nina
As Nina writes on the Community Senior Letters website:
“Sending and receiving these letters…allows hope and happiness to be brought to the elderly residents at care homes, and for them to form wonderful connections. Likewise, students are able to form friendships by unleashing their inner creativity as they send letters and drawings to the care homes, as well as relieving some boredom they may be feeling.”
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[Cover image 📸: @communityseniorletters on Instagram]