F is for . . .

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Goodness knows 2020 has been a tough year for everyone but, for many people, our friends have helped us through it. Even if we haven’t been able to see them or hug them, we’ve substituted lunch dates and grabbing a coffee together with Facetime chats and zoom quizzes, remaining emotionally available and supportive (even from a distance) for the ones we love. So today, we celebrate friendship in all its forms and the important part it plays in our health, happiness and wellbeing.

Competitive? Me? Never!

Words With Friends

If you haven’t tried the ‘Words with Friends’ app, you should. It’s a fun way to keep in touch with friends and play together from a distance. With rules very similar to the classic board game Scrabble, our only word of warning is try not to get too competitive.

The app is free to download (although does contain some option in-app purchases).

Books about friendship

Lynn West, Centre Manager at the Passmore Edwards Centre in Newton Abbot, has come up with some brilliant book recommendations if you’re after a book that features friendship as a strong theme.

From adult to young people these books are all gems – so make yourself a cuppa, put your feet up and settle down for some relaxing reading time.

You can always count on a furry friend

Sometimes, it's our furry friends who can really make a difference to our wellbeing. Petting and playing with your pets can help to release the happy chemicals in our brains, such as oxytocin (otherwise known as the ‘love hormone’), so it’s no wonder we love having them around! They're there for us through thick and thin, and can always bring a smile to our faces. That's why today we’re sharing some photos of our furry (or feathered, or even scaly) friends – and we’d love for you to get involved! Share and tag us in your photos, or post your furry friend photo in the comments below of our Facebook post.

Amazing pen-pals

Even for those old enough to remember it, it seems strange now that there was once a time – not that long ago – when mobile phones and computers didn’t exists, when you couldn’t just ping a quick WhatsApp or schedule a video call with your pals if they lived too far away to see in person. Before you could ask your friends how they were doing by tapping a few buttons on a screen, you had to write them letters. Letter writing almost feels like a lost artform now, but there is an inherent beauty in a letter – it’s a snapshot in time, connecting people in a different way to modern communication nowadays.

We’ve found some extraordinary pen-pal stories to share with you and, who knows, maybe they’ll inspire you to write your own letters!

Alan Mutter on his 81 year friendship with pen-pal Renée:
Guardian Interview with Alan

‘Send it to me next year’: The Christmas card sent between two friends since 1956:

Christmas card sent since 1956

Eunice Baily was 16 in 1956 when she first gave a Christmas card to her school friend Clare Brazil. More than six decades later, that very same Christmas card is still being sent back and forth between the two women.

Best bud hits

We’re closing out today with some classic tunes all about our besties, so enjoy these brilliant throwbacks that are sure to make you smile:

Queen – You’re My Best Friend:

Simon and Garfunkel – Old Friends:

Andrew Gold – Thank you for being a friend:

The Beatles – A little help from my friends:

Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Gladys Knight - That's what friends are for: