This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week (this week) is ‘Kindness’. Being kind to those around you - and most importantly yourself! - is always important, but especially in the current climate.
Leading up to and throughout the week, Stay Well Wirral called out for the people of Wirral to share any ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ they may have seen, done or heard about across the borough.
Many community members, key workers, neighbours, friends and families have gone above and beyond during this time and we wanted to hear all about the acts of kindness – be they big or small - which have made yourself or someone else smile.
Here are just some of the random acts of kindness that you wanted to celebrate…
1. Quizzing in Lockdown: Sent in by Alan in Wirral
“A small but welcome act of kindness to report. One of our colleagues, Chris, has been organising a quiz through MS Teams for staff (and families) working in our team and beyond, on the last couple of Wednesday evenings.
“The Quiz master is well known for his annual Christmas Quiz, that, in more recent years, has ‘gone national’ with other organisations getting involved.
“With many people currently working from home, the quiz master has made use of the technology and applied his time and effort to bring staff together in a more informal setting. The quizzes have provided some welcome relief from the current circumstances. No photographs I’m afraid!”
2. Family Whatsapp fun from afar: Sent in by Sarah from Pensby
“Every day since lock down our aunty Lynn from Leicester has sent us on Whatsapp a ‘Smile a day’ and ‘Guess the film’ picture.
“She puts so much effort in just to put a smile on our faces and keep our brains active. She’s up to more than 50 now!”
3. Charity worker goes above and beyond: Sent in by Sarah in Rock Ferry
“I nominate Lynne from Crea8ing Careers. Every day I receive a voice note or message checking on my whole family’s mental wellbeing. She’s had added me into WhatsApp groups, zoom calls, sent me afternoon tea, offered to do my grocery shopping.
“Nothing is too much for this lady and the support hasn't just been since lockdown. She has been my rock through my children’s Dad’s cancer treatment and helping me maintain my son's overall health while struggling with mental health over the past year. An actual living angel.”
4. Checking in on neighbours: Sent in by Emma in New Brighton
“Hello! Thought I’d share my random act of kindness… I live in a block of 8 flats and as we entered lockdown, I left this note and a bunch of daffodils on each of the doorstep of my neighbours. All my neighbours were very grateful for the offering and I’ve been keeping in touch via text with a couple of those that are living alone. We’re stronger in this together.”
5. Afternoon Tea by mail: Sent in by Beth in Saughall Massie
“I am shielded and staying at home all the time. For VE Day one of my best friends Rachel, who is a reception teacher at a local primary school, surprised me by dropping off a picnic for me to enjoy in my garden.
“She put together cheese, biscuits and chutneys, home-made cakes and scones made from a war time recipe. This isn’t a one off though, Rachel often carries out random acts of kindness for me, her neighbours and family, she is also making face masks for Royal Liverpool hospital.”
6. A great example of team support: Sent in by Kylie from New Brighton
“Hello, just wanted to let you know of the act of Kindness from my manager Kate.
“At the time when lockdown came into play I was actually off work sick with my mental health.
“I returned to work mid-April and my manager and colleagues went over and above to support me to return to work in a manner that would support my mental health. I live alone which hasn’t always been the case and lockdown has certainly been a challenge in many ways.
“On the 5th on May there was a knock at the door it was the post man with a parcel… I opened the parcel and Kate had sent me a lovely book to read. This made my day and put a huge smile on my face.
“This reminded me why I love my team and am so grateful for the support they always offer; and that kindness needs to be celebrated more. Thanks for arranging this opportunity to celebrate kindness…”
7. Finding ways to celebrate, from afar! Sent in by Margaret
“Hi, it was my lovely neighbours Ann & Len from Wallasey’s 66th wedding anniversary on Friday 8th May which we celebrated at our socially distanced VE Day street party in our road.
“However on the Friday morning I was live on Sean Styles, Radio Merseyside show to wish them a happy anniversary as they could not be with their extended family all over the UK and Europe.
“Their granddaughter down in Kent recorded the chat and sent it on to them all, consequently they have all heard it and were delighted for their mum and dad. Needless to say my random act of kindness was the “talk of the street” and added to the happiness of the party.”
8. Exchanging acts of kindness: Sent in by Laura & Geoff from Moreton
“We prepare meals for our neighbour who is a paramedic and he has washed our car. Our neighbour nominated us for the BBC North West Tonight Everyday Heroes and we received a certificate!”
9. Looking out for each other: Sent in by anonymous
“Our neighbours behind, have constantly given us cakes, wine, plants and their over ordered food and we, in return have sent back homemade scones and beer. All social distancing transactions.
“We have had delivery of seedlings and notes from artist and poet friends which have meant so much.
“I have made masks for friends and for one lady who was my first case on the Covid helpline who had Covid, she had lost her father at the weekend and was mother to at least 6 kids, she was terrified. As she lived locally to me, we gathered up spare food and my son gave books and we added some masks which I then I dropped it off. I realised after that that this would be impossible to sustain personally but have responded to requests for masks from friends who are shielding and donated fabric, dyes and binding to the sewers for NHS. I am now resorting to cutting up clothes I made at school & college and vintage clothing to make the masks.”
10. The Lockdown Lounge: Sent in by Julie
“Just thought I’d share a lovely happy story to boost the mood. Where I live, there are two rows of six houses that back onto each other’s garden.
“A few weeks ago one of our neighbours put a note through all of our letter boxes (approximately 12 houses) asking if we would like to have a Social Distancing party each in our own gardens listening to music over the fences.
“He left his number and suggested that if we were keen, we could text any music requests. It went down a storm and now we have it every Saturday between 4-7 which is also suitable for families with young children who might need to get them to bed.
“The fact that the requests are so varied makes it all even more enjoyable. It helps to connect with neighbours and their choice of music as well as your own! He’s now called it “The Lock Down Lounge”.
“We can talk over the fence to our immediate neighbours and just feel connected with others. The music isn’t very loud so it’s very enjoyable. I can see that each week neighbours are putting up new parasols bunting etc which is really lifting their mood.
“The fact that he texts early in the week again each week asking for new requests gives you that sense of something to look forward to. It’s a fab idea, and something I’m sure we will all miss when we go back to normality.”
11. Mental Health support: Sent in by Mark, Ed and Duncan from Beyond Recovery:
“We have produced a mental health blog and booklets here in Wirral over the last few years.
“After finding out about the Stay Well initiative we hope it could be a good resource for peoples' mental well-being at this time as there are a variety of resources on our site.
“You can access the blog here and please feel free to pass on to anyone who could be helped by the information.”
12. Grease (with a difference): sent in by Kathryn and the staff from Prenton High School
“We know how disappointed our students are that many plans for the rest of this term have had to be cancelled or postponed.... This includes our summer production of Grease.
“We wanted to do something special to brighten their day so staff have stepped up during lockdown to bring them our own version of Grease (with a difference!)”
You can view the video here.
A big thanks to everyone who liked, shared and wrote in with acts of kindness. If you’re inspired to do your own, or want to celebrate somebody else’s, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Stay Well Wirral Facebook and Twitter pages. Visit the Mental Health Foundation for more on Mental Health Awareness Week.
Looking for support?
- In an emergency, always dial 999.
- In a non-emergency, you can call 111 or, if you’re under 18, dial the CAMHS Central Advice and Duty Line 0151 488 8453.
The following advice lines and opening times may also be of use:
- Samaritans, open 24/7: 116 123.
- CALM helpline (support for men), 5pm – midnight every day: 0800 58 58 58.
- Silver Line (support for older people), open 24/7: 0800 470 8090.
- Anxiety UK Helpline, weekdays 9.30am - 5.30pm: 0344 477 5774.
- Papyrus (specialist organisation for preventing Young People's suicide), weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm: 0800 068 4141.
- For support following suicide by a loved one, visit https://listening-ear.co.uk/amparo/