Our Welfare Caseworkers spend all their time extending offers of kindness to beneficiaries as they navigate unforeseen and difficult events that impact on their quality of life. While they provide solutions that meet people’s every-day needs, our caseworkers understand that it is often the small acts of kindness that can make such a big difference.
So, who better than to share ten small acts of kindness we can all do to make a huge difference to our communities, each other and to ourselves, than Welfare Services Lead Carrie Pearce?
“There have been proven health benefits for doing kind acts for others, as well as receiving or even witnessing kindness and the impact this can have on our wellbeing,” says Carrie. “Showing empathy to another person’s situation and supporting them through the tough times is one of the simplest, but most impactful acts of kindness there is. So here are my ten suggestions for things we can all do to make the world just that little bit kinder.”
1. Say it with cooking: We all love food, and cooking or baking can be incredibly therapeutic as it encourages creativity as well as an excuse to switch off for a little while. Why not show someone your appreciation by baking them your favourite cake, or cooking them dinner and dropping it off from a safe distance? It’s a great way to bring people together when we can’t be together properly.
2. Check in with others: Social isolation and loneliness remain huge issues during the pandemic and that’s not just in elderly people either. Loneliness is becoming an increasing issue in people aged between 17 and 25. Make time to check in with friends, family, colleagues and neighbours to see how they’re doing.
3. Be kind to the environment: Spending time outside and enjoying all that nature has to offer can have a hugely positive effect on our physical and mental wellbeing. But we can also help look after our environment by helping out in our local communities and getting involved with activities such as a tree planting initiative, or arranging a sponsored litter picking challenge.
4. Donate your time: Can you volunteer your time with a local organisation? There are many people in our communities for whom volunteer-led local support is a desperately-needed lifeline. Could you help sort donations at a local food bank, volunteer at your local hospital or care home or maybe volunteer your time as a telephone befriender for lonely people?
5. Reach out: Taking time out to let someone know you care or are thinking of them can really help to make someone’s day. Little things such as a text to say good morning, an email to a colleague to ask how they are or sending someone a card or a letter can be so powerful and really help to brighten someone’s day.
6. Make contact in the community: In the UK, there are 12 million people aged over 65 and 11 million people living with limiting long-term health conditions or disability. Many of these people live alone or have limited contact with friends and family. Do you live near someone who might appreciate some help with shopping, running errands or even taking the dog for a walk?
7. Be kind to yourself: This may not be a concept that comes naturally to many of us but taking a bit of time out of each day for some self-care might just be the best thing you could do for your own wellbeing. Maybe it’s reading a magazine or sitting quietly in the garden. It could be having a hot bath or taking a detour through a park on your walk home. Or it could be sitting down to eat your dinner, rather than grabbing something on the go. It’s about taking an active role in protecting our own sense of wellbeing, doing something kind for ourselves.
8. Small gestures of kindness: We all spend our lives rushing around and barley noticing what’s going on around us or other people, take time to say “hello” to a stranger, let someone go in front of you in the supermarket queue, help with carrying someone’s bags or simply pay a compliment- you’ll be surprised what a difference this can make to someone and how good it makes you feel.
9. Fundraise: Why not organise some fundraising at your school, workplace or in your street, something small like a tabletop sale or a sponsored event and get your whole community involved (while sticking to government guidelines). Or take on a fundraising challenge and raise some money to support our Charity.
10. Make a gift for the future. While you’re thinking about kind gestures in the world at the moment, have you thought about how you could leave the world a better place? A gift in your will is one of the most incredible gestures you can make to support the Charity, and it costs you nothing to do. So, once you’ve taken care of your friends and family, why not consider leaving a legacy that will be there for future generations? Find out more about leaving a gift in your will here.
Don’t forget, if something is affecting your daily wellbeing and you could do with a little kindness yourself, our Welfare Caseworkers are here to support you. Find out more about how we could help your social wellbeing here, or if you’d like to speak to our caseworkers, get in touch. Contact our Support Line on 0800 389 8820 or make an enquiry online.