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More than 120,000 letters of positivity from pupils delivered as part of national anti-bullying campaign

boy posting letter into the positive postbox
  • Nationwide Building Society and The Diana Award have worked with schools up and down the country to deliver positive letters as part of national pen pal scheme, The Positive Post Box    
  • 300 post boxes set up in schools, and to date, hundreds of thousands of letters sent to over 120,000 pupils in the UK    
  • Research conducted by Nationwide Building Society and The Diana Award has discovered that 8 in 10 children have experienced bullying    
Rhys Stephenson and Molly Rainford with pupils at Cranbrook Primary School, London for Nationwide Building Society and The Diana Award’s Positive Post Box Campaign.

Over the past six months, anti-bullying charity, The Diana Award and Nationwide Building Society have joined forces to launch a national pen pal scheme, The Positive Post Box, helping to spread positivity in schools and stamp out bullying.

Since its launch in October 2022 as part of The Big Anti-Bullying Assembly, 300 schools and more than 120,000 children have taken part in The Positive Post Box Campaign, which has been backed by big name celebrities including CBBC and Strictly Come Dancing Stars, Molly Rainford and Rhys Stephenson.

Participating schools received their very own post box to encourage pupils to send positive and supportive letters to a pen pal in the UK.

The initiative started in response to research conducted by Nationwide Building Society and The Diana Award, which revealed that a third (32%) of children in the UK have never written a letter, but that 4 in 5 would be excited to receive one. In harnessing children’s enthusiasm to learn a new skill, the campaign aimed to combat bullying and instill mutual respect from a young age, in a creative and compassionate way.

The same research also highlighted that 8 in 10 (83%) children have experienced bullying, with the vast majority (84%) stating that the bullying took place within the school grounds.

As part of the campaign, a handpicked number of schools were visited by some familiar faces as part of a very ‘Special Delivery’, including Pike Fold Primary in Manchester, which was visited by CBBC presenters Laura Hopkinson, Lee Hinchcliffe and Rhys Stephenson, who surprised the pupils dressed as postal workers to hand-deliver their letters.

Deputy Head, Julie McKeever, at Pike Fold Primary, said:

“We’ve loved being part of such a fantastic project, and I think the Positive Post Box has shown our children the huge difference that being kind can make. They really got stuck into writing their letters of positivity, and they were excited to receive the messages from another school. Having Lee, Rhys and Laura come and deliver these personally was the best surprise – we can’t believe how lucky we were to be chosen!”  

Speaking about the importance of the campaign, Lee commented: “It was an honour to be asked to take part in the Special Delivery, and the look on the children’s faces absolutely made my day!”

“I can’t emphasise enough how important projects like this are to helping youngsters speak up, both for themselves and others. By encouraging this in such a creative and thought-provoking way, I think the lessons learned will be taken far beyond the classroom and into these children’s teenage and adult lives.”

Brooke, a pupil from Pike Fold Primary School, said:

“It was a really fun day, and it was lovely to express what I was going through, and understand how my pen pal is feeling too.”

After stopping in Manchester, Molly Rainford and Rhys Stephenson, travelled to London, to surprise children at Cranbrook Primary School.

Commenting on the campaign, Rhys Stephenson said:

“I’m so proud to have taken part in such a positive project. As somebody who has spoken publicly about bullying before, I will always support initiatives that spread positivity and respect. It’s been a privilege to watch the children writing and reading their letters.

“I think people underestimate the importance and significance of instilling the values of respect and compassion at a young age. Simple acts of kindness go a long way, and if children learn this whilst they’re in school, they’re far more likely to take this ethos through to later life. The Diana Award and Nationwide have done a great job to encourage this so naturally, and I hope the letter-writing continues long after the official campaign has finished.”

Yusef, pupil and Anti-Bullying Ambassador from Cranbrook Primary School, added:

“There’s no space for bullying at this school, and bullying has no place in this world!”

Speaking on The Positive Box campaign, Head of Advertising & Media at Nationwide Building Society, Paul Hibbs, commented:

“The work we have done with The Diana Award to promote mutual respect and tackle bullying head-on by spreading messages of positivity is hugely important.

“The stats on bullying are worrying, so anything we can do to combat the root of the problem is vital, and that’s what we hope we have achieved with this partnership. We wanted to show children who may be suffering they’re not alone, too. At Nationwide, mutual respect has always been a core value to us, so we are incredibly proud to be able to drive such a positive message and promote equality, respect, and inclusivity in society amongst over 120,000 children.”

Deputy CEO of The Diana Award, Alex Holmes, added:

“It’s been great to be part of this initiative which encourages kindness through the revival of letter writing.

“Simple written messages of kindness can have a positive impact on both the sender and receiver. At The Diana Award, we’re passionate about tackling negative behaviours by empowering young people to make a change. We’ve loved seeing young people across the country putting pen to paper and sending their messages already and hope positive messages have positively impacted their lives.”

The Positive Post Box campaign is part of Nationwide Building Society and The Diana Award’s ongoing partnership, which aims to train 10,000 Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in 660 schools over three years. This means more schools across the country are helping to tackle bullying, making children’s lives safer and more enjoyable.

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