A group of us are promoting the idea that we remember Melanie’s birthday, which is 7 October, by sending her a card at her present address in Gloucestershire.
The purpose is two-fold; firstly, to cheer Melanie up, and secondly, to send a subtle but powerful message to the prison service of the enormous amount of support that exists for her, both in the UK, and throughout the world.
We are also suggesting that making cards for her, as opposed to purchasing them, would be a really personal touch, and are including links to sources of inexpensive card making materials at the end of this message for those who might wish to consider this.
There are two really important points to follow to give the cards we send the best chance of getting through the system and reaching Melanie.
!. The sender’s full name and address must be included on the card itself, not just on the envelope. The envelopes are opened, and presumably read, by the prison service, and only the card/letter itself is passed on to Melanie. Some websites suggest that this can be done on a post-it note, but it has occurred to us that a post-it note could easily become detached.
2. The prison service does not allow musical cards, or padded cards, and presumably very large cards. Therefore, it would probably be wise not to use 3D embellishments if one is making a card, as tempting as it is, but just stick to flat decorations, such as stickers. or ribbons which can be glued on flat. (Those of you who are artistic will undoubtedly draw/illustrate beautifully without these accessories!)
Here is Melanie’s present address:
HMP Eastwood Park
Wotton under Edge
We would love to see Melanie deluged with cards. However, if we all send them right around the 7th of October, the prison system could be overwhelmed and simply dispose of them. So our suggestion is that we spread this project out over a span of four to six weeks, starting immediately. We could insert a message to her in the card to show her we realise that her birthday is actually 7 October, but we are simply a bit ahead of ( or behind ) the game!
A couple of other suggestions:
1. Ask a friend or family member to join in and make or send a card. As the cards in the links below come in packets of multiples, we could give them a card to make, with the envelope already addressed to Melanie.( Be sure to remind them they must include their own full name and address in the card.)
2. We can include young people in this project; how wonderful it would be if Melanie were to receive cards made/decorated by children or teenagers.
Below are a few resources for card making materials; they can be ordered on line, or purchased in the many branches both of these shops have throughout the country.