How you can make a dif­fer­ence

Live Healthy!Live Happy!

The Church of England - - FRONT PAGE - Janey Lee Grace

It’s not ev­ery day on Steve Wright in the Af­ter­noon on BBC Ra­dio 2 that we in­ter­view some­one who ac­tu­ally makes me cry, not be­cause I’m up­set or of­fended, but sim­ply be­cause I’m so touched by their kind­ness.

Jodi Ann Bick­ley , pic­tured, is only 26 and has had a roller-coaster of a ride, de­spite be­ing only 26. She was a suc­cess­ful per­for­mance poet play­ing pres­ti­gious gigs such as Glas­ton­bury till a tick bite gave her a brain in­fec­tion, which in turn led to a mini stroke – which in turn led to ME (chronic fa­tigue syn­drome).

But Jodi’s ‘thing’ since child­hood was al­ways to write letters, (we’re not talk­ing whizzing off an email or text – proper hand-writ­ten letters – re­mem­ber those?). Most of us don’t get them very of­ten, which is ex­actly why her project is SO pow­er­ful.

Due to her ill­ness Jodi had ‘a lot of time on her hands.’ Im­por­tantly she makes the point that you can ei­ther waste time, or ‘make it count’. As some­one who al­ways loved get­ting letters (even bills!) she says: “In our worst mo­ments, some­times it only takes one per­son to make you feel like you be­long – to re­mind you how in­cred­i­ble you are and I hope that’s what I and my one mil­lion lovely letters can do.”

She has been of­fer­ing to write a let­ter to any­one who may need it since 2012 and has so far has sent over 1,000 letters. She gave a TEDX talk, and has just re­leased her book One Mil­lion Lovely Letters about the project. Her dream is to con­duct work­shops with groups of people in­ter­na­tion­ally to write lovely letters that will be put onto the very first “Walls of Arms” – walls of out­stretched arms from all over the globe for a com­mu­nity who need it.

Jodi says: “These ideas are so big that they are al­most scary and the quote ‘If your dreams don’t scare you they are not big enough’ cer­tainly comes to mind.”

If you would like a let­ter from Jodi, email her at one­mil­lionlove­lylet­ters@gmail.com but please sup­port her ‘stamp fund’. In­cred­u­lously she charges noth­ing for her en­deav­ours, and per­haps of­fer her sup­port for a way to take her project out from her front room into a wider world. Oh and if the idea res­onates with you… dig out your writ­ing pad (it’s at the back of the drawer right?) and send a let­ter to some­one you care about – Go on, make their day. www.one­mil­lionlove­lylet­ters.com (Hod­der and Stoughton)

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