Postbox to Heaven
2003. Matilda Handy
Matilda Handy, aged 9, from Nottingham, created the ‘Postbox to Heaven’ scheme, allowing people to send cards and letters to lost loved ones through a dedicated postbox.
After her grandparents passed away, Matilda found writing letters to them brought her comfort and wanted to help others experiencing grief. Her grandmother, Pat, had worked in the post office and Matilda came up with the idea of a postbox where friends and relatives could send cards and letters. Matilda’s mother, Leanne, suggested the idea to her employer, Gedling Crematorium, who responded by installing an old postbox painted white in Christmas of 2022.
Following the popularity of the project, in which 100 letters were posted within a month, 36 other postboxes are being set up in cemeteries UK-wide. Matilda and Leanne hope that the postboxes can help ease the suffering of those experiencing grief, and offer comfort on anniversaries and holidays.
In a personal letter to Matilda, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“I know how writing letters to your much-loved grandma and grandad has brought you comfort. So it is wonderful to hear how you created a special postbox where anyone could post a card in memory of a loved one.
Through your ‘Postbox to Heaven’ scheme there are now hundreds of letters being posted in dozens of cemeteries across our United Kingdom.”
“This is amazing and I am so pleased that my idea is helping lots of other people across the UK.”
Matilda’s mother, Leanne, said:
“I am incredibly proud that Matilda’s idea has been embraced by so many people and is helping the bereaved communities across the country and beyond.”
Pictured below: Matilda (Second from left) with PM Rishi Sunak and other Points of Light award winners at an International Women’s Day reception at 10 Downing Street. Picture by Rory Arnold / No 10 Downing Street.