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Description of activity
Post Pals is a small charity run solely by volunteers who are dedicated to making seriously ill children and their siblings smile by the sending of cards, letters, little gifts, support and friendship. We support children aged 3 to 17 in the UK.
It was set up in 2002 by teenagers who were all ill themselves. Vikki George had the idea after finding that receiving cards in the post was the only thing that made her smile when bedbound and isolated due to very severe ME. Even today, Post Pals is still run from beds and hospital beds.
The concept is simple… we feature children on the website with a forwarding address, their interests and stories, and invite members of the public from around the world to log on and send cheerful post, as well as sending items ourselves. Volunteers range from toddlers drawing pictures, right up to an 106 year old who knitted finger puppets, and some like much loved Dottie the Dalmatian aren’t even human!
Post Pals does much more than just sending post though, so take a look through our website to learn more about what we do.
Organisation Contact Details
Address and Accessibility
Description of Eligibility or Referral Criteria and Pathways (if applicable)
What is the qualifying criteria to become a Pal and how do I nominate a child?
The criteria for becoming a Pal is:
Living in the United Kingdom
Aged between 3 and 17
Has: a life-threatening or terminal condition, or has frequent long hospital admissions, or suffering severe burns/major injuries
Has a developmental age of 3 or over and can understand letters/post
Not a member of another post sending charity, eg. Share a Star, Magical Mail
If you have any questions, are unsure as to whether a child qualifies, or if you would like application forms, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We ask that forms are returned to us with a medical letter confirming diagnosis. After the forms and the medical letter has been returned applications will be assessed on an individual basis by the Post Pals Paediatrician and placed into 3 categories:
Category 1 – Terminally ill children expected to live less than 6 months, undergoing intensive chemotherapy, on the transplant list, having a BMT, more than 4 PICU admissions in the past year or on ECMO/Berlin heart etc. These children will be given a place as soon as possible regardless of how many children are waiting to join.
Category 2 – Long-term conditions e.g. Cystic Fibrosis (unless on the transplant list), long-term maintenance treatment for ALL, intestinal failure, genetic conditions etc. These children will join a waiting list and will receive a place when one becomes available.
Category 3 – Short-term support. This is for children who have periods of time when they are able to attend school and have a good quality of life in between surgeries or relapses. We will support the child during the surgery/recovery period/relapse and move them on afterwards until they next need support. We define surgery needing support for those who will be in hospital for 4 weeks + or off school for 8 weeks +
We also have a small amount of places for children who have recently suffered severe burns (including conditions like Stevens–Johnson syndrome/Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis and severe Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome) or recently experienced life changing injuries.
If you want to help
How can I help?
There are lots of ways to help which are detailed on our website but most new volunteers follow the “3 easy steps”
1) Click on ‘Find Pals’, select a child and read their page
2) Send a cheerful card, letter, email, or little gift to the child via address on their page
3) Sit back and know that a child’s day will be brightened because of YOU