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Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness Day is a vital opportunity to celebrate annually which encourages small moments of compassion towards ourselves and others. We know that practising kindness towards others can benefit our mental health and some studies have even shown that it can help prevent future mental ill-health too.

Our partner, the Mental Health Foundation carried out a 2020 survey which found that 63% of UK adults say their mental health is improved by the kindness shown to them and that 63% say their mental health is improved by being kind to others.

To help celebrate the day, we spoke to some members of our Lived Experience Advisory Group to hear their stories of kindness and the impact this can have on their mental health and well-being. The group is made up of individuals with living experience of poor mental health and illness, who are passionate about and have the capacity to effect change and have an impact on mental health policy and practice.

Here is what they had to say.

Mark Dale told us:

“A lot of people, because it’s not necessarily recognised, when an act of kindness comes to them, they don’t know how to cope with it. One of the ways I have been able to help is to suggest they pay forward the act. This then makes another person feel appreciated and it’s amazing how you actually feel by not only receiving a nice kind gesture but then enjoying by giving it to someone else. Remember, a simple act of kindness creates an endless ripple.”

Helene Griffin said:

“When my children were little, my eldest son was about 4 and a half and my twins about 18 months (they’re now adults!) my youngest son was very tall for his age and used to climb-fall out of his cot, then both boys used to help my daughter escape hers. It was definitely not safe, as they all shared one room, and they were like mountain goats balancing on the top of their cots!! I called about an ad for bunk beds in the Free Ads. I didn’t have a car, so the couple that they’d belonged to kindly dropped them off which was wonderful as they were a couple of towns away, so it was out of their way.

Even more amazingly, after they left, they came back with a power screwdriver set and put them together in my children’s bedroom! They’d not said anything about this, so I wasn’t expecting it. It was also before having a mobile phone times. But they’d not called my landline either, they just came and did it – incredibly kind – as I’d have been trying to do it myself in their room at night.

The beds stayed together for 13 years and stayed strong when I changed them into single beds later. Their kindness probably stopped my children from breaking bones, but also, I’m not sure if I’d have been able to put bunk beds together myself without proper instructions.

I think people don’t often realise the enormous difference that doing something like this can make, at the time, life was too hectic to think about doing anything to say thank you, sadly. But both things have stayed with me forever.”

Thank you to our Lived Experience Advisory Group members for their wonderful contributions. We hope that with each act of kindness, we can help create a sense of community, compassion, and belonging where people can support each other to thrive.