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Nine-year-old girl’s ‘postbox to heaven’ idea to be rolled out across UK after successful trial at Gedling Crematorium


More crematoriums across the UK are to install a ‘postbox to heaven’ after the heartwarming idea proved popular in Gedling.

The postbox was first trialled at Gedling Crematorium and allows grieving people to send letters to their lost loved ones.

The idea for the postbox came from nine-year-old Matilda Handy who wanted to look for a way to express her emotions after her grandparents died.

PICTURED: Leanne Handy with the postbox

Her mum, Leanne, decided to approach her bosses at Gedling Crematorium in Lambley, asking if a postbox could be installed at the site.

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The postbox was put up at the beginning of December and almost 100 letters were posted in the first month by grieving relatives visiting the Gedling site on Catfoot Lane.

The postboxes are now set to be implemented at 36 other sites across the country after Matilda’s idea proved so popular.

Mum Leanne Handy said: “I’m thrilled by how well the post box has been received and I feel very proud. We’ve had amazing comments from members of the local community who have used it.

“It all came about because Matilda was always saying she wished we could send Mamma and Grandad Birthday and Christmas cards for them to read. She was four when my mum died, and never met my dad.

“Now the post box is in place, I am so pleased that local people are using it, and taking some comfort from it, as another way of feeling connected to their loved ones.

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“The Letters to Heaven post box is accessible within the grounds of Gedling Crematorium, even when the crematorium office itself is closed.

“We also want to let people know that you do not have to have held a service for a loved one at our crematorium in order to be able to use the post box.

“It is available to absolutely anyone who wants to write a message to someone who’s no longer here.”

Gedling Crematorium is part of Westerleigh Group, the UK’s largest owner and operator of crematoria and cemeteries, with 37 sites in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Gedling site manager Giulia McDonough said: “Like all Westerleigh Group’s sites, it’s our aim to have a very positive presence within our local communities, and I am delighted that the Letters to Heaven post box seems to have captured the imagination – and interest – of many people.”

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Matthew Brook, head of memorialisation at Westerleigh Group, said: ‘Matilda’s postbox has touched the hearts of so many bereaved people across the country.

‘Priding ourselves on serving our communities with exceptional care, we are delighted to be installing similar postboxes across all Westerleigh Group crematoria and helping many others who are grieving the loss of their loved one in a similar way.

‘We look forward to welcoming more people to our beautiful crematoria grounds and finding comfort in placing their letters to loved ones in a post box.”

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  1. This is not helping people to accept that the loved ones are gone…yes I have lost too and it is not an easy time but you always have the memory of them and they live in your thoughts forever… letters needed


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