Our family newspaper makes our grandmother feel close to us

Thomas Letourneur shares this story about how he stays connected with his grandmother using Famileo’s family newspaper.

Famileo Newspaper - Connection Coalition

My name is Thomas and I live in Saint-Malo, Brittany, just across the Channel from the UK. My grandparents live in Roscoff, the coastal town that has a ferry connection to Plymouth. My brothers and I spent a lot of time there during summer holidays when we were young, and I have rich memories of fishing trips, sailing journeys and days at the beach. We’ve always had a special relationship with our grandparents because of all the things we shared during our childhood.

As we got older, we had less time to spend there. There was always something else to do between university and friends. Our grandparents were also getting a bit older. As time passed, we began to feel that, even though our special bond with them was still there, they didn’t know much about us as adults. They have never used social media and therefore didn’t have access to all the pictures we posted about our daily lives, travels and friends.

Eventually, my grandfather passed away. My grandmother was left alone and we realised we had to do something. At first, we had no idea what to do.  We tried teaching her how to use a tablet or computer, but it didn’t work! We also tried installing a device on her TV, so she didn’t have to do anything, but she couldn’t see the point in talking to a TV.

A while later, I heard about this French startup, Famileo, who had developed a way to deliver a family newspaper to grandparents. It reminded us about all the postcards we used to send to my grandmother and of the family albums she loved making. It was like sending multiple postcards every week or month that she could read over and over again.

At first, she didn’t understand what it really was. She called us after receiving her first gazette:

“Who took these pictures of my grandchildren and sent them to me?”

We explained that this was a newspaper written by us, her family, every week especially for her, so she knows that we think about her. Not to replace a visit or a phone call, but to make these conversations richer, because she knows what we’re up to.

We’re able to share meaningful things with people who matter to us from our mobiles, in just a few clicks. Now every week, she had pictures of our travels, weekends with friends, our daily lives and anecdotes. Soon she will even get to see her great-grandchildren!

When the gazette arrives, she takes it in from the mailbox and keeps it for the afternoon, when she has quiet hours ahead. She makes notes on the paper, and jots down questions for next time we talk. Now whenever we have her on the phone or visit, we spend hours talking about the gazettes, explaining and elaborating on our stories. She says our family newspaper takes her with us on our travels and makes her feel close to us.

Thank you very much to Thomas Letourneur for sharing this story with us about how he stays connected with his grandmother using Famileo’s family newspaper. Check out their website to find out more about how you too can stay connected with distant relatives.

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