'Letters to Heaven' postboxes to be placed at Sheffield cemeteries in tribute to much-loved mum-of-three

The tragic death of a much-loved mum with a young son has inspired a campaign to introduce ‘Letters to Heaven’ postboxes at cemeteries across Sheffield.

Katie Hawxwell sadly lost her battle with cancer on December 1 last year, aged just 39, leaving behind three children, including a son, Jax, who is only four years old. Her devastated friend Chloe Hill was determined to do something to honour Katie’s memory and help her children as they struggle to come to terms with their bereavement.

When she read about a ‘Letters to Heaven’ postbox being installed at a cemetery in Nottinghamshire, enabling mourners to write to their departed loved ones, she set out to bring something similar to Sheffield. Chloe, who is a counsellor, believes it will help not just young children like Jax but people of all ages who have lost loved ones to process their grief and feel closer to those they have lost.

Having been given permission by Sheffield Council to install a ‘Letters to Heaven’ postbox at Abbey Lane Cemetery, she launched a fundraising campaign to secure the necessary money. The appeal quickly sailed past the initial £500 target and, having already generated enough to purchase three postboxes, Chloe now hopes to raise sufficient funds to introduce them at all 16 council-run cemeteries in Sheffield.

She said: “When you’ve lost someone there are always things you wish you could say to them. This is a brilliant way of helping people of all ages feel like they still have a connection with the person who's passed away.”

Chloe added: “Katie was amazing, she was such a warrior. It’s only thanks to her friendship and the way she lived her life that I believed something like this would be possible, and it feels like my way of honouring her. If she was still around I believe she would think it’s a brilliant idea.”

She said the response had been phenomenal, adding: “One woman said it was an amazing idea because it meant her kids would be able to write to their dad. So many people have contacted me to say they want one of the postboxes in the cemetery they visit. We’d need to raise approximately £3,200 to get them at all 16 cemeteries, which I believe we can do.”