Explosion of acts of kindness in Harrogate

Little can they have thought when they launched it what their inspired kind-hearted idea would lead to.

Friday, 4th November 2016, 3:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:01 pm
Random Acts of Kindness month in Oatlands area - St Aidan's High School English teacher Mrs Shores with some of the pupils and their RAK box and their pledge board.

When Oatlands Community Group decided to organise a ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ month in their part of Harrogate, they cannot have expected the outpouring of good deeds from such a large number of people both young and old.

With the support of Harrogate Mayor Coun Nick Brown, the volunteers of Oatlands Community Group encouraged all the local schools to get behind the idea.

And they also set up a number of decorated boxes in various locations such as Julie’s Hairdressers and St Mark’s Church where people could share their comments about their experience of random acts of kindness, often involving complete strangers.

The results were overwhelming and St Aidan’s High School even made their own wall display to encourage its pupils to pledge a Random Act of Kindness each.

Examples of everyday gestures of kindness were recorded across the month.

Oatlands Junior School students Scarlett Smith-Dunn and Lydia Flatley-Scaife organised a cake sale outside Scarlett’s house.

The proceeds - £115.76 - will go to the Dogs Tust in Leeds.

Year 7 students at St Aidan’s responded with enthusiasm to the idea of Random Acts of Kindness.

Teacher Tim Pocock said: “From holding doors to cooking for a neighbour, the students have been very busy making their local community a happier place.”

Fiona Clements at Little Crickets pre-School at Harrogate Cricket Club on St George’s Road said: “Little Crickets has been emphasising the importance of kindness.

“Kindness does not always have to be an action. Kind words can also make a difference to someone’s feelings.”

The feedback from givers and recipients was often anoynymous. Here is a small selection of the comments during the month.

Jemima Brett helped me find my card when she could have gone to lunch.

I gave some homeless people some money.

I found someone’s lunch card so I handed it in to the reception.

Thank you to the man who moved seats on the train so I could sit with a friend.

I did a friend’s mound of washing-up for her while visiting for a cup of tea.

I went for a dog walk around the Harewood loop on Sunday with my family and filled two bags full of litter on the way.

I just spent an hour helping a friend prepare her CV. She’s been out of work through ill health for six years.