Published: 11:49, 24 March 2020
| Updated: 11:50, 24 March 2020
A cabin crew member who has been grounded due to the coronavirus outbreak has set up an innovative way to help kids stay connected.
Kelly Binks from Rainham was told she would be faced with two months unpaid leave from her job with Virgin Atlantic.
Like many parents across the county, the Orchard Street resident tried to think of ways to keep her child occupied during the school closure, and she was inspired by the ideas of her colleagues to set up a pen pal service to connect children.
She said: "One of our crew, Jojo Lamb, came up with the idea and I took it on. I set up a group on Facebook and I have got many crew friends all over the country and I sent it out to them."
Parents can join the closed group on behalf of their children and set them up on there to let other parents know their children's interests so they can be set up with a pen pal who they can email or write to.
Kelly says she will check out applicants to ensure they are genuine and has advised members to check their children's correspondence.
The group has grown to almost 800 members since she set it up on Wednesday, March 18.
The mother of eight-year-old twins, Holly and Ryan, said: "I am obviously trying to be as careful as I can with social media.
"My daughter has really taken to it, she has three pen pals. She keeps looking out for the postman.
"It's brought all our spirits up; it's an unprecedented time and this gives them something to focus on"
If you would like to find out more, visit the Covid19 pen pals Facebook page.
More by this authorKatie May Nelson