The Penpal Exchange on the UWI (Unofficial Women's Institute) group on Facebook is run by Valerie Hughes of Sutton WI. She has been running the Penpal Exchange since January 2018 and the interest has taken off during the pandemic lockdown. You might have seen the Penpal Exchange mentioned in WI Life a few months ago. There are members from all over the world who Valerie pairs up to be penpals and then they continue to correspond with each other. Every week on Friday afternoon, Valerie also holds an informal Zoom video chat with members who are interested in letter writing, penpals, correspondence, the postal system and postage stamps. Sometimes there are speakers and sometimes it is just to check in and have a chat.
If you are interested in becoming a penpal then please fill out the survey here
If you would like more information on joining the FB Penpal Exchange group then please visit www.facebook.com/groups/UWIPenpalExchange.
Here is some information from Valerie:
The concept of organising pen pals amongst WI ladies or those with similar values, came about in response to the resolutions Alleviating Loneliness and Mental Health Matters. It has been going for over three years and many new friends have been made.
I feel it is better to have an organised pen pal system to make sure that every woman is linked. If you 'advertise' yourself it may be a bit hit and miss. If you have WI friends not on FB they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We also meet weekly for a Zoom chat, the link is posted usually mid week. We sometimes have speakers too.
If you'd like a pen pal, please click on the link above. Matches are done at the end of the month, or after fifty applicants, whichever comes first. You will receive an email with your penpal's name and postal address.
It is a free service, but please don't abuse it by asking for a penpal and then not writing, if you change your mind let me know. Don't just leave your penpal worried or upset!
If your first penpal doesn't work out please try again. If you find you'd like more than one penpal please apply again. Happy writing!