My Dear New Friend is a project that encourages children to write letters to people living in care homes. Writing letters makes children feel happy and helps them express their feelings. Children who write letters regularly are more likely to be more confident writers and have more positive attitudes to writing.
Follow the instructions below to take part. Your child could write about their everyday life, or draw a picture of something important to them, like a pet or a favourite toy. Your child's letter will brighten someone's day, and might even get a reply! It's a great opportunity for them to make new friends while practising their writing skills.
You will need
- Pens or pencils
- An envelope and stamp
What to do
- Find the address and the name of the manager at your local care home. Write ‘My dear new friend, Care of (manager’s name)' followed by the address on the front of the envelope
- Help your child to write a chatty letter starting with 'My dear new friend'. Encourage them to handwrite it and include details and drawings about their day, life and pets. Ask your child to sign the letter with their first name only
- Print or rewrite this covering note to explain the project to the care home. Put the letter and the note in the envelope
- If your child would like a reply to their letter, provide their first name and the name of their school rather than sharing your home address. Remind your child that not everyone will be able to reply, but they will be very pleased to receive their letter
- If you choose to include your child’s home address in case a new friend wants to respond, please be aware of this advice from the NSPCC
- Add a stamp to the envelope. You can buy them at the supermarket, the Royal Mail shop, or you can buy postage via the Royal Mail App, or online via the Click & Drop tool
- Post the letter in your nearest postbox. If you prefer, you could hand-deliver it to the care home or take a photo of your child’s letter and email it
- If you wish, share a photo of your child’s letter on Twitter or Instagram @MyDearNewFriend #MyDearNewFriend. Never share your child’s full name or contact details on social media.
Find out about My Dear New Friend on Instagram