More people in the UK are wanting to help and are carrying out acts of kindness as they experience the ‘helper’s high’ associated with good deeds, a UK kindness charity has said.
Jaime Thurston, founder of 52 Lives, the charity that uses kindness to change people’s lives through acts such as providing household furnishings, running kindness workshops and funding medical equipment, has seen a significant increase in donations following the lockdown, enabling the charity to help more people across the country.
Here are ten adorable messages of kindness written by children aged between 7 and 10 that 52 Lives has seen during the kindness workshops:
The charity, which has taken over sponsorship of ITV primetime show, The Chase in May, made available by Gala Bingo, their charity partner of three years, has managed to increase its support of vital causes, particularly helping elderly people in isolation and running free virtual kindness workshops for young children.
Here she lists eight kind things you can do right now to help others:
- Tell a keyworker they are doing a good job
If you do get out and see a supermarket worker, healthcare staff, or any other keyworkers, tell them they are doing a good job. These are essential people who are putting themselves at potential harm to keep the country going - the ultimate display of kindness. It could make their day to tell them how grateful you are.
- Call an elderly relative or friend
One of the key things we are doing right now is working with those struggling alone in self isolation, which is more often than not the elderly. We helped to send care packages to 400 elderly people to let them know they’re not alone.
If you have someone in your life that is struggling alone, give them a quick call or text to let them know you are thinking of them.
- Do a chore you wouldn’t normally do for your partner or housemate
Doing something you might not usually do for your housemate like hanging up their washing if they’re busy or cooking something special for your partner is a lovely thing to do and one that only costs your time.
- Give to a cause
Not everyone has enough to share, but if you do, a great way to help others is to donate to a worthy cause. And whilst donations to the NHS are fantastic, it’s important to remember some of the smaller charities, which may be really struggling at this time.
You could also give your time to a charity, supporting a good cause through volunteering can be even more valuable than a monetary donation.
Extra donations to us have meant we’ve been able to help more people than ever and every little really does help.
- Be present
We are all at home a lot more than we usually would be and we may think we are spending more time with our families. However, with work, TV and social media, we are still busy and perhaps not fully present at home.
To become more present, take some time away from your screens and give your loved ones your full attention. Try and do activities together that don’t involve technology such as a jigsaw, baking or going for a walk. Focus on still having quality time together even though you may be spending more hours in each other’s company.
- Let others be kind to you
By being kind to others you will attract kindness in return. Accept the kindness of your loved ones, whether that is by picking up the phone to them or taking them up on their offer of getting you essentials from the shops. They will feel good that they have helped you in some way and exchanging kind acts will develop and maintain a deeper connection with that person.
- Smile at people
Not only is smiling good for our health as it relieves stress and makes us feel good but it's also contagious. Smiling at someone is likely to initiate a smile back and will make both you feel happy.
Smiling also makes you look more approachable and could initiate a much-needed conversation for someone whilst outdoors. A short chat, from a social distance, with someone you pass in a park or on a walk, could make a huge difference to a person’s day.
- Keep your distance!
One of the kindest things people can continue to do is keep their distance from each other. Whilst it isn’t easy not being able to see family and friends like we used to, it’s important to remember that everyone’s health should be the number one priority.
52 Lives has seen both donations and supporter numbers grow significantly over the last two months as the UK comes together to help each other navigate the current crisis. The organisation has increased its support of a variety of vital causes in recent weeks, particularly elderly care homes and those struggling with self-isolation. Here are some of the causes it has helped:
Wellbeing packs have been sent to 400 elderly Berkshire residents who are in isolation alone with no family support or internet access. The packs include essential items, as well as a newsletter to help them stay connected. One recipient, 78-year-old, Jill, said: ‘I’ve just received a wellbeing goody bag and burst into tears! I’ve never known kindness like it.’
With the extra funds raised the charity will also be helping to fund PPE and travel costs for staff at Saint Michael’s Hospice in Yorkshire. The hospital has a large number of patients that it now needs to visit at home, as well as many who have just left hospital and are in need of care.
The charity, which launched in 2013, is also helping those who have lost loved ones to Covid 19. This includes 10-year-old, Ellie-Mai, who sadly lost her father. During an incredibly difficult time for both Ellie-Mai and her mum, Sarah, the charity has helped with living costs, as well as a computer to help Ellie-Mai when she’s ready to go back to school.
Jaime Thurston, Founder and CEO of 52 Lives, said: “We were expecting donations to drop during this period as we know it is a challenging time for everyone, but, so far, we’ve actually seen the opposite. Our supporter numbers have grown, more people are giving every week, and more people are getting in touch to ask what they can do to help.
“We’ve seen more kindness emerging than we ever have before. People are innately kind, and in times of crisis, we come together and want to help one another. We’re thrilled to be sponsoring The Chase, as it’s such a popular show and we hope to spread the message far and wide that kindness is the one thing that truly connects us all.”
To find out more about 52 Lives and to donate, visit: https://www.52-lives.org/