FIVE thousand colourful cards designed by primary school children have been brightening the lives of vulnerable people during the pandemic.

The vibrant messages were delivered to people shielding and self-isolating as part of an effort to battle loneliness in East Sussex.

About 22,000 people in the county have been asked to shield, leading to an effort by East Sussex Public Health to tackle social isolation.

Six winning card designs - one picked by each local council and one by the local NHS trust - were selected from 150 artistic creations submitted by pupils from 12 primary schools.

The wonderful artworks feature rainbows, flowers and a friendly bee telling people to “Bee happy”.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) selected the card designed by 10-year-old Millie to be printed and sent to hospital volunteers at the beginning of June.

Director of nursing Vikki Carruth said: “The bright and vibrant design of the card was so uplifting and put a smile on the face of our valued ESHT volunteers.

“A massive thank you to all of the school children who submitted designs for the cards, and a special thank you to Millie.”

David Tutt, leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, who also picked one of the winning designs, said: “Well done to all the children who took part in the competition, it was a joy to look through all the beautiful, bright pictures they had created.

“At this time when we particularly need to look after each other, it is heartwarming that youngsters are playing their part in the effort to beat Covid-19 and putting a smile on people’s faces.”

The children who designed the chosen cards have received a laminated copy of their artwork.

To celebrate the efforts of all those who took part, copies of cards not selected have been posted on community noticeboards, in GP practices, local pharmacies, in local hospitals and in and around schools.

The Government has recently updated its guidance for people who are shielding to “take into account that coronavirus infection rates have decreased significantly over the last few weeks”. They may now choose to leave their home, so long as they adhere to social distancing rules.