Marina B puts pen to paper with From Me To You

Publisher partners with inspiring letter-writing charity to help sick and lonely cancer patients


Publisher Marina B has partnered with a charity that’s taking the proven well-being effect of the handwritten card and letter to new heights.

Founder and designer Marina Brook is now a community ambassador for From Me To You, explaining: “This incredible charity has an inspiring concept – writing letters to friends or family members fighting cancer, or donating letters to strangers in hospital.

Above: Marina Brooks is a community ambassador for From Me To You
Above: Marina Brooks is a community ambassador for From Me To You

“Having personally experienced the loss of my dad to cancer, this cause is incredibly close to my heart, and I can’t wait to use our designs to bring a little joy to someone’s day by sending them a heartfelt card.”

And Marina – whose company tagline is From Me To You With Love – is sharing the partnership on Facebook so customers can also get involved, asking them to get in touch as “we’d love you to help write some lovely cards”.

The charity came about after founders Alison Hitchcock and Brian Greenley met on a yoga holiday in India in 2009 where they admitted they had little in common “other than uncontrollable farting when in headstand”!

But they kept in touch and six months later Brian told Alison he had been diagnosed with bowel cancer so she offered to write letters to cheer him up through his treatment.

Admitting he didn’t think she’d follow through as they hardly knew each other, Brian was surprised when he received the first letter just two weeks later and he loved getting them as they made him “feel supported and connected in a way that texts and emails just couldn’t”.

Over the next 2½ years Alison kept up the correspondence as his illness worsened, telling him funny stories about her friends, family and herself, and it gave them plenty to talk about when they met up, rather than dwelling on the cancer.

Above & top: From farting to best friends, Alison Hitchcock and Brian Greenley
Above & top: From farting to best friends, Alison Hitchcock and Brian Greenley

The letters became part of Brian’s recovery process, while Alison discovered a passion for writing she never knew existed and, thankfully in 2013, Brian was given the all clear.

Three years later the by-now best pals were recorded for BBC Radio 4’s The Listening Project talking about the letters, and the response convinced them to set up From Me To You, encouraging people to write to friends and family suffering with cancer, keeping them connected at a time when they feel most disconnected.

And they now work together promoting the charity, which also has a Donate A Letter campaign for people to write anonymously to cancer patients in hospitals across the UK, aiming to reduce the social isolation and loneliness often associated with the disease.

The charity said: “Receiving a letter or card, even from someone you don’t know, can bring a connection and sense of comfort at a time of difficulty.”

Marina added: “I’m absolutely delighted to be a community ambassador for From Me To You. I really love the charity’s aim – to spread connection and kindness. Together, let’s make a difference and spread love and positivity!”

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