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Become pen pals with other deaf children and young people

Photo: A young boy writing.

Our Pen Pals Project aims to support deaf children and young people (ages 6 to 18) to keep in touch and make new friends. Those who take part will be matched with another young person of a similar age and communication preference.

As pen pals, they can write letters or record videos in British Sign Language (BSL) to each other, giving them a chance to ask questions and get to know one another.

How having a pen pal helps

By taking part, deaf children and young people can:

  • create new friendships with other deaf children and young people
  • reduce feelings of isolation and improve mental wellbeing
  • develop and build their communication skills.

Imogen (14), who is profoundly deaf and wears cochlear implants, recently took part in the Pen Pals Project where she not only made a friend, but also came to view her deafness in a positive new light.

Read about Imogen’s experience in our Families Magazine.

Who can take part

Our Pen Pals Project is available to all deaf children and young people aged 6 to 18 years old

The next round of the project will begin in September 2022 and applications are now open.
To apply for a place, pen pals will need the support of either a parent or professional(such as a Teaching Assistant or Teacher of the Deaf).

More information: how the project works

  1. Apply online.
  2. If your child gets a place, we’ll match them with another deaf child or young person based on their age and communication preference.
  3. As pen pals, they can write letters or record videos in BSL to each other. 

Our pen pals service is run remotely through email. All communication goes through our team first to keep everyone safe.

Learn more about the project in our parent guide. 

How long does it last

We'll support your child and their pen pal to exchange letters and videos for eight weeks. After eight weeks, we’ll give you, your child and their pen pal the option to exchange contact details and stay in touch directly, without us. 

Any questions?

If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please email [email protected].