Tendring Pen Pals

Tendring Pen Pals is an initiative developed by our Chairman Edward Bell. He launched the project at the height of Covid-19 in response to the pandemic.

At the time, the project worked simultaneously with the Emergency Food Bank which he set up to support the community of Tendring in March 2020.

Tendring Pen Pals started off as a small project receiving support locally, it has since expanded and has reached both national and international attention with letters coming from every corner of the world.

“In early 2020 I was visiting members of the community to deliver Emergency Food Parcels to people of all ages and from all backgrounds. COVID-19 made people who were not usually vulnerable, vulnerable. Those who could usually visit their family and friends and those who could usually visit food stores themselves were not able to leave their homes.”

“In one day alone we were at the door of a 95 year old lonely gentleman, and then a 33 year old single mother with cancer. These people all had one thing in common – they were all isolated and lonely”

It is Edward’s life goal to work to end loneliness and this is a project that works towards him achieving that. Everything about becoming a pen pal is positive. From the moment you first pick up a pen to your letting being posted through the post box. The entire process is a great way to show a complete stranger that they are not alone and that someone out there is thinking about them. 

It may seem very simple to send a letter or postcard but it is very powerful.

Alongside the main Pen Pal project Edward has set up several variations. ‘Design A Postcard’ which received over 300 entries from local primary schools and most recently, Christmas Cards.

He has invited and actively encourages everyone to write and send in Christmas Cards. These cards will then be matched with isolated members across the community of Tendring. The Christmas Cards can be posted for free at drop off points located across the district. These drop off points can be located here.

If you would like to become a pen pal please write your letter, mentioning the age and gender of who the letter is intended for and post it to: Tendring Pen Pals, Kingston House, 7 Kings Road, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 1BG.

Edward is really interested in working with all businesses, schools and organisations to build this project to its full potential.

To find out more information please email: contact@tendringpenpals.co.uk 

Need some inspiration? Take a look at some of the topic suggestions he has put together below: