The project currently involves 200 participants who have either volunteered directly or been put in touch with the project team by a third sector organisation. Many write to their pen pals for several years, forming long-lasting friendships.
Each pair of pen pals is matched up based on their interests and write to each other regularly, as well as meeting in person at Writing Back social events several times a year.
As well as sharing news and stories, the students write to their pen pals about interesting items they have chosen from various local archives, allowing both participants to learn more about their local community and region.
Initially open to undergraduates from our School, the project has since expanded to include international students from across the University, who contribute their diverse perspectives and experiences.
Our student participants bring enormous passion to the project, and act as powerful advocates for effecting positive change in the local area.