By Andy Hirst
People have been urged to spread a little joy this Christmas by taking the time to write a letter for someone who may be spending it alone.
Huddersfield organisation Give … A Few Words runs the letter-writing project all year round to give people who are lonely or isolated a lovely surprise but more writers are needed with Christmas fast approaching.
Give … A Few Words founder Sharron Wilkinson said: “Christmas can be a difficult time. While many people are with others enjoying the festivities, others are spending it alone.
“Our #Letters for Christmas Campaign is about spreading a little joy with a few words. We have hundreds of volunteers busy writing personalised letters, cards or doing drawings for others in care homes, charities or for people alone across our community.”
The clock is currently ticking for their Christmas Campaign and they are currently writing hundreds of letters to go out in December.
Sharron said: “It’s all hands on deck. We need as many people as possible to pen a few words or draw a picture to spread some much needed smiles this Christmas.
“When the letter packs arrive in a few weeks’ time and people read the most gorgeous words from strangers, that gift is priceless.”
She added: “Our volunteers are amazing. They are some of the kindest, selfless and loveliest people I have ever met. Most of us are still yet to meet in person, but we virtually meet and have a great volunteer letter writing community with volunteers the width and breadth of the country and further afield.
“We write about all sorts of things, such as history, music, nature, photography, Huddersfield Town, animals, films, art, knitting, musicals, engineering. Then the more unusual … we are currently being asked to write about Quavers, fire eating and astronomy.
“People who receive our letters are quite often blown away by them. They are overwhelmed that a stranger has taken time out of their busy lives to write to them. Not just words, but we receive art, poetry, origami, bookmarks, photography. We receive envelopes and things literally fall out of them.
“You don’t need expensive stationery; you can write on anything or, if preferable, email words though and we print from here. Each letter is as unique as the person writing them and that is something rather special.”
One of the letter recipients said: “I won’t lie, I may have shed a tear. Who knew physical letters could bring so much joy?”
Organisations that also pitch in to write the letters include pupils from Huddersfield schools and students from Greenhead College and the University of Huddersfield. Businesses involved in the project with their employees writing letters include Locala Health and Wellbeing, Cummins Turbo Technologies, speciality chemicals company Lubrizol, Ramsdens Solicitors and Ballcraft Engravers.
Give … A Few Words will be funded by Locala until next March and now has more than 200 volunteers with some of the writers living as far away as from Mexico, Canada, Paris…Scotland and Wales.
The organisation is currently busy fundraising to try and buy stamps and Christmas envelopes and to sustain itself for the future with networking and social events.
* Written by former Huddersfield Examiner Head of Content ANDY HIRST who now runs his own Huddersfield-based agency AH-PR specialising in press releases, blogging and copywriting for business in Yorkshire and across the UK.