A three minute video about what I do with BBC Three!

When asked by BBC Three to be part of their ‘Amazing Humans’ series, I panicked. To be honest being considered anything more than a ‘slightly okay’ human being is something I struggle with immensely so seeing my face appear under this title is something that didn’t completely sit well. My way of justifying it is, the people who I write letters too – you are the amazing humans, your strength and your stories and your willingness to share them with me are what is amazing and when I think about it like that appearing on it wasn’t as scary at all because it was representing you.
And you, are incredible.

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One Million Lovely Letters, 5 years old.

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(Some of the hundreds of replies I’ve received over the past 5 years)

Hi Everyone!

On February 3rd 2013, I had planned to take an overdose. I was very poorly with m.e and my depression had hit an almighty low and I just didn’t feel like I had the strength to get through. In that moment I found my letters, I asked if anyone needed reminding of how incredible they are and a girl called Natt did. And overnight, 200 people contacted me. Since that day, I’ve written over 4000 letters. I now have a team of seven volunteers who keep the project going, chipping away at the letter requests in my inbox which currently totals over 10,000. To Christine, Hannah, Patricia, Natasha, Kerry, Alyssa and Bronwen – I’m forever grateful to each and everyone of you and I’m so proud to have you as part of One Million Lovely Letters. Each letter is somebody’s worst day and it has been an absolute privledge getting to write to each person, the letters in the picture are just a few of the many replies I’ve received over the years. These contain some of the most incredible stories of hope, resilience and strength and they have become my lighthouse, just like the whole project is. Whenever I feel at sea, whenever the darkness creeps in which it often does – the project gives me light. And as I’m breaking my office down and it’s going into its next phase (it’s a really exciting phase I promise & I’ll let you know super soon!) I sat and surrounded myself with these letters, these people, these stories and thought about what the project does for me and continues to do for people that experience it. It reminds you of your strength and makes you realise that however dark that storm gets you are never, ever in it alone. One Million Lovely Letters, may you forever and ever be my lighthouse – I’m gunna keep writing letters until my hands fall off, I promise.

In December of last year, we welcomed a new babe into our gang. Her name is Dotty, she is 3 months and after a rocky start is doing incredibly! She’s a real gem but has the squeal of a fire alarm and likes to use it liberally. Dylan is two and a half now, she is wild, spirited, sweet and kind is a sucker for a dress with a tulle skirt but only if it’s accompanied by leopard print leggings, she’s a girl after my own heart and she makes our lives magic (and full of mischief).

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I’m attempting to set up a Patreon as we speak so anybody who offers there support will now have a place to contribute to the running of the project in return for rewards and an insight into the project and my little world if they want too!

I’m really excited for what this year has to offer and I’m so grateful you’ve all stuck around to see us into our 5th Birthday. It’s been an absolute rollercoaster, a wonderful, wonderful rollercoaster and I’m so grateful to each and every one of you.

Hope you’re having a gorgeous weekend,

Jodi xx

 

A big, big update.

Hi!

Firstly, I hope you are all doing just wonderfully and that 2017 has eased you in as quietly or as wildly as you needed it too! I thought I should do a big update to let you in on a few things going on in my world and things going on with the project.

tomorrow, dylan is one. i'm writing a couple of little things for her but wanted to start a tradition of a tiny letter to put in her box for a later date. here's a little version of it ūüíú

(A letter I wrote for Dylan on her 1st Birthday)

In November 2015, I became¬†Mum to a little girl called Dylan. It has been the most intense fifteen months of our lives, she is such an awesome little character and a real handful! She is always busy and wanted to make us laugh/scream in horror at her imminent danger. Who knew just how many hazards one house could have, things that you didn’t even consider before – spoons, dog biscuits, nail var.. okay nail varnish was my bad – when she walked in with a painted mouth we all laughed (mostly after we googled HAVE I POISONED MY CHILD?! via google, who sent us to netmums (who are mostly terrifying, but even they said it was okay) She has recently got the knack of sleeping through the night, as I write this I am touching wood, rubbing a shamrock, wishing on dandelions and cashing in on any other good vibes the world wants to throw our way that this is something she sticks too. I got cocky one week with her eating cheese on toast and ever since each piece has been launched across the kitchen, so I hold my breath with any of her new behaviours/habits/sleeping patterns. She is wild, funny and fearless and although our house is a lot louder than it used to be, the love within it’s walls is fierce.

I have been in a more ‘managerial’ role at OMLL HQ as of late (that sounds massively formal and like we’re some sort of big corporation) Basically, as Sam is working full time me and Dylan are each others buddies in the day so I haven’t been able to concentrate 100% on my letters. For a long time this made me want to run and hide and has filled me with a lot of guilt, I’d get emails and comments which were quite nasty asking in no uncertain terms where their letters were and I started to feel as though I was drowning a little. It’s my own fault as I’m not very transparent with the sheer volume of letters that the project has received and whilst I have the project which is my most favourite of things, I’m also a mum and have a couple of health bits that make life a little complicated sometimes. ¬†In 2014, I appeared on Surprise Surprise which was wonderful and gorgeous and I’m so extremely grateful but when the TV show aired – within 2 hours I received 4000 emails. Which is incredible but also extremely daunting – this is on top of the 2000 letters that were already in the inbox and then the letters I was receiving every day as usual. This set me back a lot and is why I brought volunteers on board as I simply couldn’t keep up with the volume of letters anymore and the thought I’ve not doing the project anymore is never an option. So now, I have 10 incredible volunteers who went through a OMLL interview and are just the most wonderful group of people and their letters are everything that I wanted OMLL to be and every letter they write I feel so proud and grateful to put a OMLL stamp on. I have always wanted to write back to every single letter that has come in to the inbox, that was what I set out to do but when I set out to do the project I honestly didn’t think we’d be sat here 4 years later with 8000 letters in the inbox. I’m not sure what people would think about me possibly setting out to reply to the letters that have been written in the last 2 1/2 years and if anybody who has written in previously to that feels as though they would still benefit from a letter to resend their request to put it to the top of the pile? It’s just a thought but as supporters of the project I would love to hear your input.

Some other news is, the first ever One Million Lovely Letters Exhibition has a date – it will be running from April 10th for a week at Centrala in Digbeth, Birmingham. I am so excited but there is so much to do and so many favours to ask of people and I just hope it turns out like it is in my messy brain. The theme for this exhibition is ‘A letter to my younger self’ with half of the exhibition being dedicated to letters people have written to themselves at a point in their past where they feel they could of used some hindsight, strength or wisdom from their now self. These will be presented in print and in film (hopefully!) and the rest of the exhibition will be made up of the lovely letters that have been sent in to the project. ‘Dear You’ letters, letters of positivity that will be put up in the exhibition that any one that visits will be able to read and take the letter they feel speaks to them at that specific moment in time, in turn for a letter of their own to add to the exhibition. There will be a space within the exhibit for people to sit and write their own letters. In my head, it’s going to be magical and I just hope I execute it in a way that makes you proud of all the work thats gone into the project over the last 4 years. It’s been a heck of a ride so far.

Heres a little video I did about the exhibition, the sound is awful so I’ll be recording a new one this week hopefully:¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c_VFYOJX38&t=28s

So, once again. I’m asking you to get your biros out, your glitter and your stickers – that lovely paper you’ve been saving for the right time or that old notepad in the drawer under the TV. Write for me, write a letter to your younger you or someone who may need it. A letter full of hope to a stranger or a letter of guidance to a younger, lost you. There are no rules when it comes to writing these letters, they needn’t be a specific length – just write from the heart and it will be just wonderful. If you could send your letters into me at:

Jodi Ann Bickley

PO BOX 535

51 Pinfold Street

Birmingham

B2 4AY.

I’d really like you all to be part of this too!

I’m going to try and write more on here and introduce a little bit more of my world to you, it’s not super interesting but it can be pretty odd at times.

Thanks for reading,

 

Lots of love,

Jodi xx

 

OMLL update!

IMG_0855 Hi Everybody! It’s been a really wild few months and I can now announce that One Million Lovely Letters has a team who I am slowly (but surely) introducing to all of you via the MEET THE TEAM¬†page. I am so, so excited to have people on board – I could never of imagined what OMLL has become and now with 40 volunteers and an awesome right hand lady, we will be able to keep up with the volume of letters (currently 13,000!) coming into the inbox! The project is honestly my most favourite thing in the world and to be able to get others involved and share the magic of it is just incredible. Each and every letter requests is treated with the upmost confidentiality, care and love and each team member has had their own storms, your letter requests are in the safest hands. I have also run a few workshops which have been absolutely wonderful. One took place in a girls school where 180 teenage girls created packages of lovely letters for other teenage girls who needed reminding how amazing they are from all around the world, they were just gorgeous! I’m also going to be setting up an Etsy for the OMLL card collection, I’ve had so much fun doodling over the last few weeks! Okay, now I must dash I’m currently knee deep in glitter, biro and letter requests and I’m on season 3 of The Mindy Project. Lots and Lots of love, Jodi xx

Kickstarter!

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A massive thankyou to everybody who helped with my Kickstarter, I am more grateful than you’ll ever know – OMLL has now been funded for the next year and I will work my little socks off to make sure it continues for all of ¬†the years to come! I am so looking forward to getting more people involved in the project and being able to share the magic that I get to experience from it every single day.

A huge special thank you for their generosity and belief in the project!

Scott Oehler, Lauren Day, Jennifer Iydick, Craig Peters, Richard Hawkins, Kevan Jones, Nikki Bi, Anthony Parry, Catherine Dunn, Matthew Knight, Rob Jelly, Nick McCloud, Frank Arif, Jonathan Testa, Richard Craven, Sue Gallon, Cythia Savage, Andrew Smith, Andrea Binda, Phuong Kim Ngo, Liesl McMurray, Richard Bishop, Bill Babcock, Roberta Raye, Thomas Schafer, Charlotte Mcafee, Maria, Owain Woodall, Immy Kaur, Nicola and Marcus James.

A little hello.

Hiya,

One million lovely letters is something I’ve been working on since I was eleven. Ever since Ms Wrights Science Class in Year 7 I have been leaving people notes. In between text books, on buses, in libraries and as I got older in pubs, restaurants and as I got a little older in doctors surgeries and¬†hospital beds¬†– anywhere I thought that maybe someone might need a little bit of cheering up, reassurance or just a reminder that actually they are pretty lovely.¬† It’s never been a “thing” – just something I’ve done. I think everyone deserves to know that they are thought of and they are loved. Even if it is by a complete stranger.

This is where my idea for One Million Lovely Letters has come from. Although I hope every little note I’ve left someone, somewhere has reached someone who needed it – I’m pretty sure some may have fell too far down the side of the bus seat. In the UK alone there are 62,641,000 people, in the whole wide world there are¬†7,038,044,500. The average person has 3 close friends and 19 “mates” so take that off and you are still left with seven billion thirty-eight million forty-four thousand¬†four hundred and seventy¬†eight¬†strangers. ¬†And all of those strangers have at least one day where they could use a little lift.

So this is a call out. To every other person ¬†on the planet –¬†I’m going to write you a letter. A letter just to make the day a bit better or to remind you of the bloody amazing stuff about you that you’ve forgotten because we all forget once in a while.

If you would like a letter you can email me at : onemillionlovelyletters@gmail.com
Please include your address and the reason why you need a little lift and I will send you a little hug in an envelope.

Love,

Jodi x