Half of British school children (48%) say they’ve never written a letter to a friend, reveals a survey by charity World Vision. The YouGov poll of 1,294 children aged 6 to 15 years found one in five (18%) do not even know how to write a letter.
The survey shows a dramatic five-fold decline in children’s letter writing in the last eight years. In 2010, World Vision conducted a similar study which found that only one in ten children had never written a letter.
World Vision UK, which runs child sponsorship projects across 19 countries, carried out the research to mark World Friendship Day on 30 July.
The new finding has prompted fears of a deterioration in writing skills among a new generation of school children. Odette Brooks, Founder of Leaps and Bounds Educational Services says: “It’s sad how so many children are growing up without ever putting pen to paper for a friend. They miss out on the pleasure of writing letters and the chance to practice important writing skills like spelling, punctuation and grammar.”
"Letters are a big part of what makes child sponsorship so special. By writing letters, our sponsor families build lasting friendships with the children they sponsor, as well as providing love and support.", says Lauren Vail, Children’s Communications Officer at World Vision UK.