Kind workds…


In the fourth of a series of articles documenting the thoughts of anti-bullying ambassador Elsa Arnold, the founder of the Spreading Kindness Through E11 initiative talks about community spirit during lockdown

We’ve all faced our fair share of struggles over the last few months, from immense highs to rock bottom lows – it’s been really difficult. Our lives were flipped upside down within a matter of moments and we all suddenly found ourselves being forced to adapt to a new way of living.

Everyone is going to have a different story to tell coming out of this, our personal lockdown stories, because no one has felt the same about the situation and this has affected us all in completely different ways. In my own life, I’ve seen one thing that has kept people together and kept communities thriving: the power of kindness. The acts of kindness which have permeated throughout the streets of communities have been incredibly heartwarming to see and be a part of.

To highlight a few activities in Wanstead: there have been huge teams of people pulling together to support NHS staff through food donations and shopping assistance as well as great initiatives in helping combat homelessness and ensuring more isolated people are cared for during this time. All over the country, people have given so much time towards helping their neighbours, supporting more vulnerable households and boosting spirits and morale when it’s needed the most. The positive impact that communities have had on the lives of others has been incredible and really has kept people’s hearts alive.

I had an overwhelming response to a project I launched for Mental Health Awareness Week in May, and I produced a community video to show people, particularly at this time, that they are not alone. I think that’s the key, knowing we are never alone, no matter how bleak the road ahead may seem.

Seeing what the communities around me have achieved and put together without a moment’s thought is inspiring because we’re all in this together. Yes, none of us will have the same story to tell, but we can always be there for each other. No action is a small one, and we can all play a positive role in each other’s stories to make sure that in times like these, no one feels alone.

I am extremely grateful to be a part of incredible, uplifting communities doing so much for other people and I would urge anyone reading this to think about how they can make a difference to someone’s day beyond this pandemic. You never know what someone is going through, so keep being mindful, keep caring and keep helping to make sure everyone feels surrounded by love and hope, because we go through life together, never alone. Your actions really do make a difference. Let that be a positive one.

Thank you to everyone who has offered a helping hand to others. You will have made a bigger difference than you know.

To watch Elsa’s community video, visit wnstd.com/notalone. To read Elsa’s blog, visit lostinthought-blog.com[/su_note]