For the last 6 months Hannah Clayton has been writing letters for our Donate A Letter campaign as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award. She writes every week. She is 14 years old.
We asked her to tell us how she's found the experience.
For those of you who don’t know, I wrote a blog post for this website about six months ago talking about what it is like starting out writing for From Me to You. Now, I’ve been doing it for a little while so I thought I’d share a little bit about what my experience has been like so far.
If I had to say one thing that doing this has taught me, I would definitely say that I’ve grown in confidence. The whole point of the letter writing is to talk to people you’ve never met before, which can at first seem quite daunting. I feel like after a while though, it became normal to talk to them, so it doesn’t feel weird to write them a letter talking about any exciting or funny things that have happened in my life. I’ve also really enjoyed the amount of support I get after writing each letter. It is nice to open my emails and see one from From Me to You saying thank you for the letters. It almost feels as if I’m getting a response from the patients so that it isn’t just a one way conversation.
Sometimes, I find that I don’t know what to write about. I find it difficult when I worry that a certain story won’t make any sense or won’t make them smile. I want each letter to bring joy to the patients and it can be hard to think of something that will do so. However, as soon as I think of the idea, the words just flow from pen to paper. I think I’ve been doing this so long that I’ve found my way of writing and it’s become second nature to write like that. That’s another good thing about the whole process. It’s helped me find my rhythm with writing and I find it an enjoyable and relaxing thing to do.
Overall, I’m having a great time writing a new letter every week. The process is really easy; you just have to write a letter, send it to the same address each time and the rest is done for you. I find it an easy way to feel like I’m doing something good for other people. Each letter brings the challenge of thinking what to write about, but a few days later comes the reward of knowing that your effort has really helped someone in need.
If you'd like to read Hannah's first blog, it's here
Hannah's letters have been a joy, always positive, cheerful and caring. We are lucky to have her as one of our writers.
If you would like your child or young adult to get involved in writing letters, and have been inspired by Hannah, please be in touch.
How to write a letter