The Mental Health Collective’s Kindness-by-Post project enables strangers from across the UK to exchange cards with messages of goodwill, kindness and encouragement at difficult moments in the year.
A Kindness-by-Post exchange is like a great big secret santa for random acts of kindness. Members of the public can sign up online to send a home-made card with a message of goodwill, and be allocated someone to send a card to them.
Pictures of the cards that are being sent and received are shared online, so that the joy and inspiration of these messages of hope is shared beyond those participating directly. Together, we share the joy of spreading kindness, the excitement of seeing whether we receive kindness in the post ourselves, and take pride of being part of a nationwide movement for hope.
When difficult moments are shared, they become easier. As messages of kindness criss-cross the country, we remind ourselves that we are not on our own in the world.
Our biggest exchange is the #GreatBritishValentine. In the February 2019 pilot, more than 1000 people signed up, and there were participants in every single county in England, and nearly two-thirds of the counties in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We even had a handful of participants from the US (no idea how that happened!). #GreatBritishValentine was featured on Zoe Ball’s BBC 2 breakfast show; in the Metro, the I newspaper , Premier, Voice of Islam Radio, and on BBC Hereford and Worcester. The comedian and best selling author, Dave Chawner, even got involved.
We were blown away by how beautiful the messages were. #GreatBritishValentine cards were criss-crossing the UK with blessings, affirmations, suggestions for songs and favourite books, and just simple messages of good wishes and positivity. Tea bags and coffee sachets were sent through the post, so that the recipient could have a nice brew. Beautiful, poignant, heart-felt letters, with words crafted for someone to hold onto when life is at its bleakest. Funny, silly, cheesy cards, with puns and dancing pineapples. A handful of confetti, each piece inscribed with love and affirmations. A card with all the different meanings of love from ancient Greece. A card ordered from an online greetings card company by someone who is too unwell to get to the post-box.
It was incredibly moving and extraordinary to see. Some quotes here show the difference it made for participants. A survey found a measurable increase in participants’ levels of optimism about strangers before and after the project.
Building on the success of our pilot, we are running Kindness-by-Post exchanges throughout the year at difficult moments that are nominated by our community. Recent nominations for Kindness-by-Post exchanges have included the start of the new academic year, Christmas, mother’s day, Ramadan and exam time.
#KindnessByPost #RandomActsofKindness #havehope #spreadjoy