Over Half of Cardiff’s Teenagers Have Never Written a Letter


88% don’t know how much a stamp costs

A new study released has highlighted tumbling interest in writing amongst teenagers, sparking concerns for the future of handwriting across the UK. The research has revealed that over half (59%) of 13-19 year olds in Cardiff have never written a thank you letter, 88% have not written a love letter and 18% have never even written a birthday or Christmas card.

Despite the alarming statistics showing that youngsters are increasingly turning their backs on pen and paper in all areas of life, most of those polled confessed that their reliance on text messages and instant messaging has a negative impact. Seven in 10 (71%) in Cardiff admit texting and instant messages are detrimental to their writing, with 41% admitting it makes their spelling worse.

What’s more, many believe handwritten communications are more personal and heartfelt. One third (35%) say receiving a handwritten letter would mean much more to them than an electronic equivalent, and 71% confess that any relative receiving a handwritten note from them would probably be delighted as they’d consider it more thoughtful – highlighting that those polled still understand how meaningful handwritten communications are.

Jonathan Skyrme, General Manager at BIC UK & ROI, said: “Handwriting is one of the most creative outlets we have and should be given the same importance as other art forms such as sketching, painting or photography. We need to be doing more to encourage youngsters to put pen to paper, which is exactly why we’ve launched our #JustWrite campaign in partnership with Melanie Harwood at Start-Bee.”

Melanie Harwood, Start-Bee’s Founder, said: “BIC’s study has shown that 24% of teenagers don’t pick up a pen more often than once every couple of months outside of school or college – an alarming statistic when you consider that handwriting, not typing, is a skill that is fundamental to unlocking a person’s potential in life. Alongside reading and maths, writing is one of the three key skills everyone needs to master if they are to cope in the adult world, which is exactly why BIC’s #JustWrite campaign is so important.”

Launching on 29th October with a series of events across the UK, BIC’s #JustWrite campaign aims to encourage people of all ages to pick up a pen and start writing.