Welcome to My Kindness Movement

Welcome! This blog is about following my journey to become kinder. The mission is to perform random acts of kindness whenever and wherever I can. I hope you will contribute with comments and suggestions, as well as your own kindness experiences.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Signing off

Image result for when you are kind to others it not only changes you

Hello to all you lovely kind people!

I realised recently that I have never signed off my blog and I wanted to let you know that I have continued performing daily acts of kindness after writing my blog. Whilst I do not blog anymore, acts of kindness are a huge part of my day-to-day life. 

Nowadays, I tend to log my acts of kindness in a diary and as I am a student (funds are limited), I try and utilise what I have learnt about free acts of kindness during my 'Year of Kindness'.


In 2016 I creatively let people know I was thinking of them by sending button cards and making them crafty gifts (poor them lol!).
















In 2016 I also did a 'day of kindness' on my Cardiff University campus and put sweets and chocolates all over the place for people to find.

Anyway, all the best with your acts of kindness.... let's make the world a kinder place.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Kindness In The Midlands

I was born and raised in Coventry in the Midlands and I lived here for the first 19 years of my life. My parents still live here, so I am back home at the moment for a short stay before my new adventure in Cardiff.

So, I have been talking about completing acts of kindness here in Coventry and the surrounding areas with my family and friends. My good friend and fellow dog lover suggested that we buy a tonne of dog treats and take them to the Dog's Trust near Kenilworth. I thought this was a brilliant idea and this is what we have been doing today. We went to Pets At Home in Coventry to buy the treats and we thought the staff there were incredibly helpful and nice.


The dogs were all beautiful but we both fell in love with a beautiful dog called Magic.



Thursday, 3 September 2015

Refugee Crisis



It is becoming evident that citizens of the UK are going to have to put pressure on the Government to ensure that people who are at such grave risk of harm, escaping from war zones, are given asylum here in our country. We need to support our fair share of refugees; it a matter of life and death. You can sign a petition on Change.Org.

Also, I just discovered an amazing new movement called CalAid. This incredible bunch of volunteers believe that no human being should have to face dire living conditions after fleeing their homes in war torn countries. They are working at the camp in Calais and are asking for donations to help people achieve a basic standard of living there. There are a number of ways you can help: donate via their fundraising page, give donations on their collection days (there is a list of items on the website) or volunteer and help them sort through the donations. This is a brilliant idea and I hope it helps to raise awareness of the devastating plight of refugees.

Also, a fantastic doctor in the UK has set up a petition on Change.org asking people to sign it if they are able to take a family of Syrian refugees into their home. Over 2500 people have signed this petition to offer help; this is remarkable and shows that people in the UK believe more should be done to end this crisis. 


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Kindness in Slovenia


I have just returned from a trip to Slovenia and it was mission to try and be kind as much as I could while I was away. I really enjoyed my trip and these are the acts that I completed:

1. Bought a load of lollipops and gave them to the kids on the campsite
2. Bought a couple of rounds of drinks for some really lovely old chaps at a local bar
3. Bought and left some chocolate and sparkling wine for some friends who are visiting the same campsite in the coming week and who are also celebrating an engagement



4. Bought some ferrero roche from the supermarket and gave them to the lovely lady serving me
5. Gave a large tip to a waitress in a restaurant
6. Shared a bottle of wine with an old chap on the train home from London and we had a great chat too.

It was a fun trip!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

52 Lives

I like to search on the Internet for inspiring kindness stories or websites of interest. Today, I found a fantastic website called 52 Lives which has been spreading kindness around the globe since 2013. It is similar to my recent idea about setting up a website to request items for those I work with in the homelessness sector, except with 52 Lives the kindness can be for anyone in need and anywhere in the world! Basically, each week they feature someone in need requesting an item or an experience and those that support the website offer to help and make it happen for that person whatever it is. I love it and I am incredibly inspired by the acts they have done so far. Take a peek and help if you are able to, even if it is by sharing their requests on your social media sites.


Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Paying It Forward

While I was in London on Saturday, a good friend of mine treated me to an extra special breakfast with a spectacular view. She insisted on paying for it and I thanked her for her kindness and I told her that I would pay it forward. Today, I went and bought about 20 bunches of flowers and left them on a bench in Snowhill on my usual route home from work. As you can tell, flowers are my thing, I really do think they bring joy and happiness to people. It was rather interesting trying to drive my scooter laden down with two huge bags for life full of flowers! Anyway, I made it and I really hope the recipients of this act of kindness enjoy it :)




Sunday, 29 March 2015

Kindness Continues

A friend of mine recently asked me if I was continuing to complete random acts of kindness beyond the 'year of kindness', I told her that I make it my daily modus operandi and try to ask myself - what can I do today to be kind? I have been finding lots of ways to be kind in my life. Recently, again, I have been incredibly inspired by someone that gives of themselves when they have very little and again this proves to me, kindness is always possible and sometimes even a small act can have an incredibly huge impact. Watching this kind of behaviour inspires me to want to do more.

In 2015, I  have decided to blog about random acts of kindness completed in places that I visit. Yesterday, I visited London and decided to be spontaneous and see if the opportunity presented itself. I ended up going to a beautiful flower stall and I bought three bunches of flowers and handed them out to three ladies at Paddington Station.


Saturday, 7 March 2015

Free Hugs

I was in town today and saw a man offering free hugs. This is a lovely idea and obviously I had one; it totally made my day. Great stuff :)


Saturday, 31 January 2015

Kindness Continues

So its been a month since I finished the 'Year of Kindness'. I have found myself doing random acts of kindness without thinking about it and it makes me happy!

I was in Budapest for two days and I wanted to do some random acts of kindness. I got to thinking that maybe I will do this every time I visit somewhere new and take the kindness with me and also keep the kindness alive on this blog.

I received some acts of kindness too. I went to a lovely restaurant and as I was alone, I couldn't have been made to feel any more welcome by the staff there - they were amazing and couldn't have been nicer! I gave an 'almost' 100% tip. The chap thought I had made a mistake with the currency (which isn't hard with the Hungarian Forint) but I told him it was a random act of kindness and he smiled - I wasn't great at speaking Hungarian and he wasn't great at English; kindness crosses those barriers and also smiles do too! As it was once said, "Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness."

There were a lot of rough sleepers about town so I decided to buy a couple of copies of the Hungarian version of the Big Issue and I also bought some pastries and chocolate for those that were bedded down in doorways.

As a traveller on your way home, it's nice to be able to drop off the currency and know it's going to a good cause. Most airports have donation tins - Buda has tins for WWF. Also, it's nice to get a gift at the duty free shop; my friend has a bottle of Absolut!



 

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Thank you

Thank you to you all for supporting me and for reading the blog :)


Last Day


So it's the last day of what has been an incredible year! Thank you to everyone who has supported me. I have learnt a lot from this experience, but overall I realise that making kindness a part of your daily life not only makes an impact on those around you, it also changes you too.

As Annie Lennox rightly said (and I will use this quote again as it sums it up well),

                      " Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world."

The Dalai Lama said,

                      " If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

This is so true! I have gained great happiness from being KIND. Hopefully, I have made others happy too.

My last large act of kindness today was to be part of funding a Micro loan via CARE International UK for a chap in Pakistan who needs essential materials to grow his carpentry business. I love the idea and feel it hugely beneficial to people living in developing countries that want to better their lives. It is an incredible way to empower people to move themselves out of poverty. CARE International call the recipients entrepreneurs as that is exactly what they are - they have an idea, they develop a proposal and CARE International,with our help, provide them with a loan. You can look through the website and take a look at each entrepreneur and decide which one to loan to. The loan gradually gets paid back to you. Amazing!

Getting involved to end world poverty is a huge passion of mine and this is the perfect act to end on. However, I would like to start working in my own area as, believe it or not, a recent study (reported by our local paper) conducted within the Bath area highlighted that one in five children in Bath are living in poverty. There is work to be done here. Today's daily act of kindness and final one is that I have sent a request to become a volunteer with a local charity called RE: generate that work to bring about social change and impact on our local communities.

Again what a year and I hope that you have enjoyed the blog and found it useful. Here's to Random Acts Of Kindness!!!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Operation Beautiful



Extra day 3

Operation Beautiful is a lovely idea. The goal of the Operation Beautiful website is to end negative self-talk or “Fat Talk.”Today I am placing cards with, "You are beautiful. Yes you!" on mirrors in the ladies toilets around town.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Send A Stranger A Post Card Via Postcrossing

Extra daily acts....

I found an amazing website called Postcrossing. You can sign up for Postcrossing and send and receive post cards from strangers around the world. Amazing! I got my first recipient today and my Bath postcard is off to Germany.


I have also found another website called Postcode Happiness. This website allows you to send postcards to people who need a bit of postal happiness. It is a really lovely site and I am now off to write my postcards..

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Give Flowers And Treats To Care Home Residents

Week 26

I am running a week behind so here is my second to last large act/challenging act of kindness of the year.  I also looked back at when I started the year and I didn't start until Jan 4th so I also have 4 daily acts of kindness to complete on top. Tonight I am coming up with interview questions and advice for a friends sister as she has an interview this week. The year is nearly complete!

Today my lovely friends and I prepared small bunches of flowers and a bag of treats (chocolate, word searches, nice toiletries) for residents of a care home. My home was a buzz of activity today ..

 

We went to the home and handed the goodies out - we hope they like them...


Saturday, 27 December 2014

Christmas Gifts


A few weeks back I decided that I would ask people to commit random acts of kindness instead of giving me Christmas gifts - it kinda worked. My Secret Santa did actually buy me a gift instead of committing a random act of kindness but I shared it with my friend; sometimes people find it hard to know what to do for a random act - one of the reasons why I created this website!

I spent Christmas with my sister, her partner and my nephew Louis in Paris. My sister is very wise (when I was insistent on buying a gift for my nephew) and she said that the best gift you can give a child is time and energy and that all my nephew would want was a play mate, me to think everything he made out of Lego was marvellous, to run around with him and read to him. I now understand what she means. It was such a pleasure to see how much fun he had and I did too!

My mum told me that she bought food for someone who was hungry and my dad donated to the Salvation Army as they do a lot of work for the homeless in Coventry. My brother helped me to come up with an awesome name for the website I am creating to help people give to the homeless and people in need in Bath for personalised support and helped me to create some of the puns to go on the site - awesome! I am really pleased with it and I am looking forward to developing this further in 2015.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Accepting Kindness


Week 25

This week was an incredibly hard week and I had to step out of my comfort zone and accept help and support from my friends and family. This has not been easy for me as I feel that I am putting people out. However, I am learning to accept kindness as I know how it feels to give it and how nice it is for people to be allowed to be kind and feel like they are being helpful to you. A friend of mine said to me that it is just all the good coming back to me - in essence do good and good will come back to you. This is so true!  My friends and family have been really amazing to me during this hard time in my life - listening, moving and storing my stuff, taking me to the tip, helping me stay on track and positive at work (making it fun where possible), allowing me to finish cleaning rather than an early outreach shift, allowing me to stay at their home and looking after me, getting their parents to drive back to pick up stuff we had left behind in the street, taking me to dinner and generally just being there. I am hugely grateful and I hope that I can do the same for them if hard times hit.

People Who Stand For Kindness


I have just been reading some articles about another chap who is completing 'a year of kindness' too called Luke Cameron. I have really enjoyed reading his blog - The Good Deed Diary. I am inspired and happy that there are other people out there as passionate about being kind as I am! However, I am really upset that people have been so nasty about what we are doing. I feel that they have totally missed the point. I tweeted Luke to say keep going and that what he is doing is amazing. I started the 'year of kindness' after many years of thinking I wanted to be kinder and that I wanted to see more kindness around me in a harsh world. I spent quite some time thinking about why I would be embarking on the challenge - ultimately I wanted to be the change I wanted to see... Ghandi first said that. Saying that I didn't want it just to stay with me, I wanted to encourage others to do the same and show people it is easy to be kind... there are many free ways to be kind that we can all do. Ultimately then, if many of us are trying to be kind then surely the world has got to turn into a better place. Well that's my hope anyway. Also, ultimately this year has been great, but certainly not without its challenges. To say that we want attention is wrong, ultimately there are easier ways to do that. Also, the year has changed me as a person so really its been so much more than a project for me. I am going to continue on with my year and look to my next project to start to try and make a difference in 2015...

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Anonymous Acts Of Kindness


This week I have decided to complete anonymous acts of kindness. If someone discovers that it was me who gave them an act of kindness I have to try again (and harder) and do another anonymous act. Up until now I have been adding my card to encourage people to pay it forward and spread a little bit of kindness around us, but this week it will be nice just to do something nice for someone anonymously.

1. Bought and sent a lovely friend a badge.


2. Bought a bagel shop gift card and left it in a bus stop.


3. Put some lovely flowers on the bonnet of a car with a note.


4. Bought a wedding gift anonymously for a stranger by searching randomly on Debenham's online gift list section.

5. Bought a gift from a strangers baby wish list on Amazon.
 
6. Bought a gift for a child in a refuge (the Haven in Coventry) to open on Christmas day. It is hard being in a refuge let alone on Christmas day.

7. Left a number of products for the next tenants of my flat - a box of dishwasher tablets, dishwasher cleaner, loads of black bags and a brand new bin. I also cleaned the flat to within an inch of its life, I hope they love the flat - it was a great place to live!

8. Put some money in a great book that I have been reading- 'Unleashing Your Creativity' before it is sent back to the library.



Unfortunately, my friend guessed it was me who gave her the badge so I completed another act. I recently found a website about a group of people wanting to create an honest documentary about a family in the process of being rehoused. I wanted to support the work as I feel more needs to be done to raise awareness of homelessness. I contributed to their fundraising page see here.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

HIV/AIDS Awareness


Week 23

The 1st December was world AIDS day. Apparently 100,000 in the UK are living with HIV and 1 in 5 of them do not know that they have contracted it. Furthermore, there are 34 million people living with it world-wide.

As well as wearing the red ribbon this week I decided to take the HIV aware quiz on the National Aids Trust's website and I was absolutely horrified at my result. This experience got me thinking about how many other people are not HIV aware. It is so important to increase our knowledge and understanding of the disease to ensure we do not stigmatise people.

I then sent the quiz via email to my friends and it highlighted that we may need some further training on HIV. I have also been reading a lot of material on the subject and the NAT website is a great resource.

This week I also decided to put positive notes around town - in books and various other places for people to find. Here are a few examples-

 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Random Acts Of Kindness Instead Of Christmas Gifts


Week 22

I was in a team meeting this week and one of the points of discussion was the obligatory Secret Santa. I requested that the person who picks me out of the hat performs a random act of kindness instead of buying me a Christmas gift and writes me a note to tell me about it. I then started thinking about Christmas in general and decided that I would request that anyone who would normally buy me a gift perform a random act of kindness instead. I am really excited to hear about these random acts that they perform. I am also spending Christmas with my family in Paris and I have decided it would be a good time to get to perform some of the ideas in Bernadette's book on RAOK's for children.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

150 items



This was an amazing challenge! I did manage it and the whole experience did really make me take a good hard look at what stuff is actually important and what I actually really need. In reality I am not emotionally attached to many of my possessions or need too much stuff. In fact my smart phone got damaged on a mountain hike in the Lakes in torrential rain and I lived absolutely happily without it - it was everyone else that got annoyed that they could not contact me!

I began the week thinking about what impact giving away my large DVD collection had had on me a number of months ago and I realised that it didn't have any impact at all. We now have instant access to movies and TV series online and no longer need to collect DVDs. I then moved on to thinking about the books that I own. I rarely read the books I have and to be honest I have started to make a lot more use of the local library these days; I have always loved it but I have recently rediscovered that love. I also thought about the last time that I used a cookbook and found that I always refer to the BBC's online food guide - it is amazing! Basically, after a lot of sorting out I put a ridiculous amount of stuff onto Freecycle and have had people coming and going from my flat to collect goodies all week. It has been absolutely great to see that others will get some use out of these items. I also have created several bags of goods for the local charity shops too and I will distribute these in the coming weeks. This challenge has been made a little easier for me as I am moving into a shared house in about 5 weeks and everything will be provided. This has enabled me to get rid of all of the furniture in the flat and kitchen items - these things tend to make our number of possessions go up. I am leaving the flat with the absolute bare minimum amount of possessions. There is absolutely no way I could get my stuff down to 150 items in any other circumstance as we need certain things to live - something to sit on, something to cook with and eat off, something to put our clothes in and some general decoration in a place.

I am now left with my absolute favourite things: a laptop, a phone, a camera, an ipod, a motorbike and kit, a box of clothes, a box of craft items, old university notebooks (this is something I find hard to part with- I have this dream to go back and study again), a tent and kit, roller skates and blades, a folder of trail hikes, a tennis racket, a badminton racket, a bicycle, my bag from Marrakech, a couple of frames and pictures, a flower jar, a vintage looking candle holder, brownie baking kit, a box of adminy stuff and most importantly my passport.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Fly On Rainbows



A couple of days ago I received an email from the lovely Alicia Hart who I made a video for in an earlier random act of kindness. She had requested that anyone who had lost someone to cancer make a video of themself letting off a balloon to put into her music video accompanying a song she had written. Alicia lost someone close to her to cancer and wanted to raise awareness and raise money. The song and video are absolutely beautiful and she is raising money for brain tumour research.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

150 items


Week 21

The no smiling/laughing challenge was incredibly difficult. I didn't realise how much I smile and laugh. People were right that this was definitely the challenge for me. The most difficult part was meeting people in the street who didn't know I was doing the challenge and instantly finding myself not being rude and smiling; I think I might have to let myself off on those occasions as it would have been unkind not to smile. Also, I was teaching a group about sexually transmitted infections in the morning and the students managed to make me laugh a few times :) Anyway, overall I only smiled 8 times which I think is an achievement and with this I raised some money for the Samaritans which is a great thing! I also noticed how not smiling and laughing had a noticeable affect on my mood - mad really!

I am moving house in a few weeks and I spent the weekend sorting out my belongings. When I started the second part of the year of kindness I gave away my whole DVD collection in a bid to try not to be too materialistic. I have also been reading lately about a minimalistic lifestyle and I read about someone who took the challenge of getting their belongings down to 100 items. This is incredibly admirable! Another incredibly inspiring set of people being minimalist are the minimalists and their website is really brilliant and insightful. I think at this stage getting my belongings down to 100 items might be too much of a challenge for me so I am going to try and get my belongings down to 150 items and give the rest away. I have already started to put a lot of things on Freecycle and I also have a large pile of clothes/ nik naks ready for the charity shop. Let's see how I get on this week......

Monday, 10 November 2014

Raise Money For A Local Charity


Week 20

On Thursday I am going to be completing a challenge to raise money for the Bath Samaritans and to raise awareness of World Kindness Day. The challenge (an enormous challenge for me) is not to smile or laugh all day on Thursday. Now if I slip up I have to put a donation in the pot. I had a practice today and I slipped up 4 times in 15 minutes - oh dear! I am going to have to do something huge to pull this one out of the bag!

Monday, 3 November 2014

105 Compliments

Week 19

This week I have set myself the challenge of giving out 105 compliments, which equates to giving out 15 compliments a day. The idea is not to give them randomly and without reason but to genuinely find reasons to compliment people. My week will be all about the positive in people which will hopefully help me too.


Sunday, 2 November 2014

Kindness In Adversity


Week 18

This has been a challenging week after a sad event. Kindness was not my focus at the beginning of this week and although I haven't completed a challenging act of kindness this week I have tried to be kind in whatever ways I could.

Some of the things I have done this week:

Accepted kindness from people
Gave flowers to someone to say thank you for their support
Gave a few bob to some students doing a fundraising jailbreak
Smiled and waved at a young girl waving frantically out of her window
Not allowed myself to get angry
Tried to remain positive
Told someone how amazing they are
Signed an on line Shelter petition
Replied quickly to emails
Let a load of people off in front of me on the bus
Listened to a friend in need
Not drank one energy drink (this is huge for me)
Ate healthily (this is also huge for me)
Gave away a load of stuff on Freecycle

Monday, 20 October 2014

Give Chocolate to People Looking Stressed/Over Worked

Week 17

My mission this week is to look out for two people each day who appear stressed or over worked and give them a chocolate treat.

I recently saw a great post on Pinterest which had a quote attached to a chocolate bar,

"Life happens but chocolate helps."

I thought this was lovely so I have done the same..



This cake also seemed like a nice thing to share around, as well as making people laugh with my silly antics!


Sunday, 19 October 2014

Leave Money In A Phone Box



Does anyone still use the phone box? It was still in operation and I hope someone does as there is a random act of kindness waiting for them. Aren't the red boxes fab!