19/05/2020 - Published by

Random Acts of Kindness – make a difference every day

a contribution to Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

The Peace Foundation was founded in 1995 following a terrorist attack in 1993 as part of a thirty year conflict we call ‘the troubles’ on our islands.  In the aftermath of the bombing that killed children, two of many killed as part of the conflict, the parents of one of the boys, Tim Parry, decided to act, not in anger or hatred, but with kindness, to seek to try and ensure no other parent went thorough what they did.

They set up a charity and to this date, the charity works to stop terrorism and support those affected by violent conflict. The Peace Foundation is at the forefront of helping improve people’s mental health in a variety of ways.  One of those ways is by promoting kindness.  Kindness to yourself and kindness to others.  The process of reconciliation on our islands continues and the Peace Foundation is funded by the Northern Ireland Victims and Survivors Service to provide health and welfare support to people in Great Britain affected by the troubles.

Since the start of the Covid 19 crisis, we have been providing additional support, along with VSS providers across Northern Ireland.

Today, along with VSS, we are asking people to think about being kind to themselves and others.  Peter Topping, who is a case manager in the Victims and Survivors Service has asked us to watch a short film and penned these words:

“Staying positive, motivated and active during these uncertain times is difficult and can be a struggle.

“As we take time this week to reflect during Mental Health Awareness Week I wanted to share with you a short film and talk on how to stay young, healthier, motivated and have a greater sense of feeling empowered to face the challenges ahead.

“The theme of the talk is “one small act of kindness”.  Acts like the appreciation of key workers/ NHS staff on a Thursday evening, fundraising challenges, food bank donations and family and neighbours supporting each other.

“That act of giving and being kind, allows us to support others but it also helps to improve our self-esteem, self-worth, energy and a sense of wellbeing. It allows us to feel good about ourselves knowing that the “one small act of kindness” has made a difference and helped someone else either smile, laugh, eat, sleep or just improved their day.

“My wife is an ICU nurse working in the Belfast Nightingale City Hospital at present and she has  told me about the multiple acts of kindness from patients families, friends and strangers and how it has made a massive difference to the mental health and wellbeing of all the NHS staff members.

“The work you are doing everyday within your organisations is life changing for many – the extra phone call, the food package, the delivery of a prescription is holding the most vulnerable in our communities together, building stronger relationships.

“So please recognise that your small acts of kindness are invaluable and are making a huge difference. It is natural that our mental health will fluctuate during this lockdown and that is why it is so crucial to build healthy habits.

Try and do “one small act of kindness” every day for a week and review how it has improved your own mental health and wellbeing.”

So, please watch this Tedx talk on the act of kindness for Mental Health Awareness Week and hopefully it will bring a smile to your day. (Please click on the link below)

How one act of kindness a day can change your life (Mark Kelly | TEDxTallaght)