A UNIQUE postcard project called ‘Rainbow Friends' has been set up to offer friendly messages to older and younger people in the area.  

The initiative involves participants writing a friendly message for another person in Middlesbrough, with the option to receive a unique message of their own.

Rainbow Friends has been set up by the Ageing Better Middlesbrough programme along with staff from the Linx Project and Middlesbrough Council.

Art work for the postcards was created by members of the Brushstrokes art group in Coulby Newham and young people from The Happy Cactus art group, Breckon Hill and St Gerard's schools and Hemlington's Linx Project.

Ageing Better Middlesbrough's Age Friendly Officer Anya Deputat said: "It's really easy to get involved. Just send us an email or message us on our social media pages.

"You can receive a written message from someone else, write your own for other Rainbow Friends, or do both. The more people who are involved, the more joy we can spread throughout our town."

It is hoped that the messages - along with uniquely created images of rainbows, flowers and colourful drawings - will remind people that there is a sense of hope and connection in the community in difficult times.

Julie McGee, from the Food and Friendship Project said: "Working with the team to provide a message for people who really need it is more important than ever.  

"Older people have been at home for long periods and children have had to go without school, so it's been a strange time for everyone involved.

"We hope that this postcard will put a smile on the face of everyone who receives one."  

If you would like to be part of the project, just get in touch by emailing anya.deputat@middlesbroughandstocktonmind.org.uk  or messaging us on Facebook @AgeingBetterMiddlesbrough or Twitter @ABMiddlesbrough.

The team will then send out a pack with a blank postcard, prepaid addressed envelope and some instructions.

Once the postcard is received, it will be re-redistributed to others taking part in the project. All postcards are anonymous and details will not be shared with any third parties.

Alternatively, if you would like to receive a postcard (with a unique message from other Rainbow Friends), get in touch via the same email address.