Tumbling interest in writing amongst teenagers in UK – BIC study

Three quarters don’t know how much a stamp costs

LONDON, 2-11-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — A new study released today has highlighted tumbling interest in writing amongst teenagers, sparking concerns for the future of handwriting across the UK and ROI. The research has revealed that half (50%) of 13-19 year olds have never written a thank you letter, 83% have not written a love letter and a quarter (26%) have never even written a birthday or Christmas card.

Despite the alarming statistics showing that youngsters are increasingly turning their backs on pen and paper in all areas of life, most of those polled confessed that their reliance on text messages and instant messaging has a negative impact. Nearly seven in 10 (67%) admit texting and instant messages are detrimental to their writing and a further 22% admit it makes their spelling worse.

What’s more, many believe handwritten communications are more personal and heartfelt. Two thirds (58%) say receiving a handwritten letter would mean much more to them than an electronic equivalent, and 64% confess that any relative receiving a handwritten note from them would probably be delighted as they’d consider it more thoughtful – highlighting that those polled still understand how meaningful handwritten communications are.

Jonathan Skyrme, General Manager at BIC UK & ROI, said: “Handwriting is one of the most creative outlets we have and should be given the same importance as other art forms such as sketching, painting or photography. We need to be doing more to encourage youngsters to put pen to paper, which is exactly why we’ve launched our #JustWrite campaign in partnership with Melanie Harwood at Start-Bee.”

Melanie Harwood, Start-Bee’s Founder, said: “BIC’s study has shown that a quarter of teenage boys and 14% of teenage girls don’t pick up a pen more often than once every couple of months outside of school or college – an alarming statistic when you consider that handwriting, not typing, is a skill that is fundamental to unlocking a person’s potential in life. Alongside reading and maths, writing is one of the three key skills everyone needs to master if they are to cope in the adult world. To have a career, to take charge of financial affairs and to live independently largely hinge on an individual’s ability to read, write and add-up. Not only does the ability to write legibly make the school curriculum accessible to a person, it also unlocks a career path and the potential for people to choose their own futures. Nobody should be written off and Start-Bee is on a mission to change all that, which is why we are delighted to be involved in the BIC’s #JustWrite campaign.”

Launching on 29th October with a series of events across the UK, BIC’s #JustWrite campaign aims to encourage people of all ages to pick up a pen and start writing.


*Research conducted amongst 1,100 13-19 year olds across the UK and ROI by Mortar London on behalf of BIC UK & ROI in August 2015.

Notes to Editors

For further information on BIC and its products, high res imagery or interviews please contact Hannah or James on 020 8741 5900 or BIC@lucre.co.uk

About Start-Bee
Start-Bee is a proven method for teaching handwriting that’s quicker and more effective than anything else being taught. The method was devised in 2011 by Melanie Harwood whose then four-year-old daughter, Hannah-Jane, was refused entry into her chosen primary school because she was unable to write her own name. In response, Harwood developed her very own method to fast track her daughter’s handwriting. Within a matter of days, Hannah-Jane was writing her own name. Within a few weeks, completing the handwriting exercises Harwood had created for her, Hannah-Jane had overtaken the entire first year of her primary school group. In response, the school asked Harwood if they could use her method to help pupils struggling with handwriting and Start-Bee was born. Start-Bee’s primary aim is to get every child, everywhere to write effortlessly, enjoyably and excellently and to join up their letters before they turn seven. To that end, the company is currently seeking crowd-funding support, further information can be found at www.start-bee.com.

About BIC
BIC is a world leader in stationery, lighters, shavers and promotional products. For more than 60 years, BIC has honored the tradition of providing high-quality, affordable products to consumers everywhere. Through this unwavering dedication, BIC has become one of the most recognized brands in the world. BIC products are sold in more than 160 countries around the world. In 2014, BIC recorded Net Sales of 1,979.1 million euros. The Company is listed on “Euronext Paris” and is part of the SBF120 and CAC Mid 60 indexes. BIC is also part of the following SRI indexes: Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI), FTSE4Good Europe, Euronext Vigeo Europe 120, Ethibel Sustainability Excellence Europe, STOXX ESG Leaders and Gaia Index.

For more information, please visit BIC corporate web site: www.bicworld.com



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