The idea of writing to a complete stranger, and have them write back to you, started in the 1930s and quickly became known as having a “pen pal”. Back then there were even societies and companies which would help to connect different people across the world, often for a fee.
These days it would be easy to assume that the pen pal tradition has been wiped away by the accessibility provided by online tools such as email and social media, but this isn’t the case. Within some of our homes it’s alive and well.
After a very busy Christmas and New Year the residents at Willow Court, our care home in Harpenden, managed to find the time to write back to their pen pals who had been sending in letters and cards to them, many of which were hand-made.
These came from the students at Habberdashers School in Radlett, and from the students at St. John’s in Lemsford.
Reading the correspondence, and then replying to it, evoked some wonderful and fond memories in many of the residents at Willow Court and they very much look forward to receiving more from their pen pals at both schools.
There is an official Pen pal day, on 1st June. It’s a wonderful tradition that seems to hold on and survive in the face of the onward march of technology, even gaining in popularity over recent years. It’s been a consistent activity across many of our care homes with our residents looking forward to receiving, and replying to, each and every letter.
So here’s a big thank you from Quantum Care to all our pen pals out there! Keep on sending those letters in!