Airedale Hospital and Community Charity launched its Acts of Kindness (#AOKAiredale) campaign at the start of October.
The campaign aimed to spread happiness and kindness among staff at the Trust and the local community.
Research shows that being kind to others can be beneficial to our own mental health. Helping others feels good, it brings us a sense of belonging and helps us to keep things in perspective. That’s why Airedale Charity created this campaign.
The charity team encouraged people to be kind, and carried out their own acts of kindness. For example, the charity sent encouraging messages to colleagues, posted kindness quotes and tips on their social media, sent random gifts to staff, left surprises around the hospital and community sites for people to find, bought toys for the on-site day nursery, and held a tombola where staff could get a free prize to give to a friend. The team also worked with the Trust’s dedicated staff clinical psychologist to create a video and blog post about the importance of kindness and self-compassion.
The charity provided useful resources throughout the campaign, including a kindness calendar; a gratitude journal template; kindness bingo; and ‘pass it on’ cards (to be given out when an act of kindness is completed, so the recipient can pass on the act of kindness).
The campaign was a huge success, with staff completing their own acts of kindness and using the #AOKAiredale resources to spread kindness throughout the Trust and wider community.
Victoria Pickles, Director of Corporate Affairs at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“Kindness is really important, and never more so after the last 20 months which has been challenging for everyone both professionally and personally.
“A small act of kindness can make a big difference to someone and can totally change their day.
“Our campaign here at Airedale has been to encourage all our colleagues to do one small act of kindness because each time we make a choice to be kind, it can have a hugely positive effect both ourselves and others. Something as simple as making someone a cup of tea, sharing a smile, or paying a compliment costs nothing but can be hugely impactful.
“The NHS is run on the energy and good will of its staff and it is vital that we look after one another as well as our patients.”
Dr Fiona Purdie, Clinical Psychologist and Lead for Employee Psychological Wellbeing at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“Kindness is so important, and I have seen and heard about such a wealth of it amongst the staff I have the privilege of working with and supporting here at Airedale.
“In the stories I hear, it is often the kindness of colleagues that has kept people going through some really tough times at work.”
Airedale Charity will soon be launching kindness packs which will include resources to encourage acts of kindness in schools and workplaces. For more information, please contact the charity team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01535 294870.