An act of kindness can go a long way

We have partnered up with local mental health Community Interest Company (CIC) Arterne to enrich the next generation to look at tackling loneliness and isolation in the city with a series of kindness days.

As part of Arterne CIC’s ‘Operation Snow’ project, PCH piloted the first kindness day at Southway in December for Christmas, which was so successful that we have decided to bring them to other areas of the city.

Our aim is to engage with our residents, tackle loneliness and isolation as part of the Thrive Plymouth agenda – a 10 year programme to get everyone working together to improve health and wellbeing and narrow the gap in health status between people and communities in the city.

Housing Office Nicola Blackwell said: “This is a great collaboration between PCH and Arterne CIC which has seen some really positive results already. At Southway at Christmas the people we were in contact with were happily surprised – they were touched that someone actually thought of them.

“Isolation and loneliness is a real problem in the UK at the moment and as Plymouth’s largest social landlord it is up to us to be proactive and do something about it. It’s about linking people back into their community and letting them know what is out there for them to meet new people and make friends.”

Nicola and Arterne CIC Director Cindy Willcocks, teamed up with Housing Officer Simon Healy to knock on doors in the Beacon Park area to give out health and wellbeing information, free fruit donated by Devon and Cornwall Food Action as well as free plants.

Nicola continues: “Today was Mother Earth day so it seemed an appropriate time for our next kindness day – we’ve been giving out information sheets that tell people about local activities – we’ve given people plants as a theme of demonstrating recycling and growth – they have instructions on how to care for me and I’ll care for you. We are hoping to have a theme for each of our kindness days around the 5 ways to wellbeing on the Thrive Agenda.”

The 5 ways to wellbeing are focussed on some simple steps to encourage people to:

  • Connect
  • Learn
  • Active
  • Notice
  • Give

Cindy from Arterne CIC said: “I’ve really enjoyed developing this project alongside Nicola.  It’s been so beneficial for PCH residents and generated conversations that may not otherwise have happened. We’re looking forward to the kindness days that we have planned for the rest of the year and can already see how the visits have impacted positively on residents and staff’s mental health.”

Arterne CIC’s Operation Snow is a project founded by Cindy for people who are either on their own, in a low income family or homeless so that they can spend Christmas Day somewhere warm with a hot meal and good company. The Operation Snow #notjustforchristmas provides people with essential items such as clothing, toiletries and food all year round.

To find out more about Arterne CIC then visit their website.