Letter revival sees thousands writing to lonely and isolated Australians

Originally Published by: 9 News

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An exhibition in the nation's capital is stepping back in time to connect people through the art of letter writing.

"Yours Faithfully" at Old Parliament House in Canberra features restored press gallery typewriters and plenty of stationery, to encourage visitors to ditch the screens.

It has now teamed up with the Connected AU project, which has more than 15,000 people registered to write to those who may be lonely or isolated.

Visitors to Old Parliament House can browse through envelopes marked with potential pen pals.

"We love the fact that you might be able to send a letter to Stan who is 90, who loves soccer, potentially you have the same passion as him," said Nanette Louchart-Fletcher, from the Museum of Australian Democracy.

Mother-of-four Sandra Risa has written a letter to a woman in aged care, who never married or had children and most of her family still lives in Cambodia.

"During COVID last year and working from home since I live out of town, I got the feeling that I understood how it would feel like to be isolated," Ms Risa said.

"I was a bit worried, like, what do I write, but once I started writing it just flowed and I wrote pages."

UK migrant Natalia Weglarz also signed up to write to an aged care resident.

"I came to Australia six years ago. I have my parents here, I don't have anyone else here, so I'd like to have a bit more of a connection with someone," Ms Weglarz said.

She formed a connection with Sylvia Hardy, who lives in a Western Sydney nursing home and also migrated from the UK.

"I'd love to know a bit about you, about your life," the letter reads.

Ms Hardy decided to write back.

"I felt it was good. Good to be able to talk to someone about how I used to live, where I was born, what I used to do as a child, growing up in World War II," she said.