‘Random Acts of Kindness’ week takes place each year in the UK, to recognise that a simple act of kindness goes a long way. Kerrie Masters, an Educational Support Coach here at Colchester Institute decided to organise and run her own weekly event to spread kindness and encourage others to pay it forward, with the support of many staff, students and departments .
To start the week, LUSH Colchester provided our students with talks about their ‘pay it forward’ campaign and shared why it’s so important to spread kindness – they also gave away some goody bags!
On Monday, students from Foundation and Supported Learning distributed flowers and chocolates throughout the college, along with little notes of kindness containing Starbucks and Aramark food vouchers placed onto random photocopiers and windowsills in different departments.
The Beauty department provided a free rapid nail bar on Tuesday where lots of students and staff lined up to get their nails painted for free by our Level 2 Beauty Students.
Throughout the rest of the week we held a freebie stall, giving away a range of free items such as handmade jewellery, bath salts, uplifting postcards and labels made by the art department, and various other free goodies as a Random Act of Kindness, encouraging others to pay this kind gesture forward. On Thursday we had the additional treat of four fantastic Level 3 Art students, drawing quick portraits of staff and students in a caricature style
Finally on Friday, the music department kindly put on a lunch time gig featuring some of the college bands and musicians playing original songs, with the support and technical assistance of Level 3 Production Art students.
Random Acts of Kindness – pay it forward is more than just giving away items or providing services – it is about promoting empathy for others and helping students to see the value that they can bring to someone’s day with little gestures of kindness. It’s about raising the self esteem of themselves and others and realising that they can make a difference.