5 ways: Give

5 ways: Give 2019-05-10T14:49:14+00:00

Give what I can whether it is my time or simply a random act of kindness

Helping others can make us happier, even the smallest actions can make a difference.

You could try

  • Thanking someone who has supported you
  • Stopping to talk to someone you meet when walking
  • Volunteering your time
  • Checking in on a neighbour
  • Supporting your local community

Or check out

Got an idea?

Share it with us on social media using #mywellbeingpledge so we can add it to our list and don’t forget to make your pledge now!

Your story

GIVE and acts of kindness are so important to me;  I do this regularly and one of my ways to do this is being creative in making quilts.

I have been making ‘hospital quilts’ for children in memory of Sam.  After reading Sam’s story (below) and his parents in wanting to make a difference for the children on the wards of the hospitals and bringing some cheerfulness to the wards; I wanted to be part of this too.

Here’s Sam’s story…

Sam was born on 18 December 2015, 8 weeks premature and with a heart condition.  He spent the first 7 months of his life in hospitals – St Mary’s NICU, Alder Hey and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.  He passed away on 21 April 2017 due to complications after heart surgery.

Quilts and incubator sheets are continually being made by many people across the UK in Sam’s memory to give to poorly children and to thank the hospitals involved in his care during his short life.

You can find out more about ‘Sam’s memory quilts’ on Facebook.

I absolutely love being creative in my sewing room at home and after reading Sam’s story I really wanted to part of something special.  I love making quilts and to know they are going to a good home is such a joy.  For children to be in hospital in the first place is not what any of us would want, but if one of my quilts helps their stay more enjoyable for them, this is what makes the difference for me.  The children also get to keep the quilts once they are discharged to go back home.

I was lucky enough to receive a thank you from a mum whose baby had been given one of my designs at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital: “We received this quilt today while we were at an appointment at cardiology clinic with my daughter who is 11 weeks.  She has down syndrome and two holes in her heart, she loves her new quilt thank you”

I regularly take part in parkrun. Every Saturday at 9am across England (and the world), people gather together to run, jog or walk 5km at an organised weekly, FREE, parkrun, which is entirely reliant on volunteers.

Initially I took part to run and get fitter, but the more I attended, the more I have engaged with other aspects of parkrun which have enhanced my wellbeing.

I have made many friends at parkrun, so connecting with people is now a big driver for me, seeing friends and also encouraging others who are new. I run a jogging group as well, so always look out for members of the group and cheer them on.

The best thing about parkrun is that when you are injured, you can still take part. As it is run entirely by volunteers, there are always roles to fill every week, which enable the event to take place.

The volunteering role I enjoy the most is time-keeping, it requires a lot of concentration and is great as you see every participant finish, from the first to the last. Giving back to parkrun is rewarding as you see others progressing and doing well, and you are also part of a team who take their role in making parkrun happen, really seriously, without them, there would be no event.

Parkrun is something I look forward to most weekends, I feel part of a community that has no barriers. Everyone is welcome, there are babies being pushed around in buggies and there are runners in their 80s, runners with dogs, children, teenagers, walkers, workplaces, blind runners, wheelchair racers, you name it, parkrun welcomes it.

Every week, participants are celebrated for achieving milestones, 50, 100, 250 runs or 25 volunteering opportunities for example. Visiting runners are celebrated from other parts of the UK/world and anyone achieving a personal best time or milestone gets to ring a bell in celebration!

When I run, I feel mentally and physically good afterwards and when I volunteer I feel part of a team, a sense of belonging.

The running and volunteering helps my mental health but the biggest part of this for me is just being part of a community who support each and every other person. Parkrun can be prescribed by GPs. If I was a doctor, I’d prescribe it to everyone.

I love to swim when I feel stressed or anxious; it really gives me a sense of achievement and wellbeing.  I love to learn and my wellbeing is strengthened when I achieve and move to the next level.  In regards giving, I love to do random acts of kindness like pay for the next person’s coffee is a usual that I like to do

I feel like I am doing something for me.  I choose not to dwell on the fear of anxiety and have worked hard to find what supports my wellbeing.  My friends are important to me as are my family and talking helps however I do not wish to burden others and so initiating protective factors in my life has strengthened my wellbeing.

I have recently decided to pledge that I will de-clutter my personal belongings once a month and gather a bags worth to donate either for local charity shops or the Samaritans clothing donation spots.

The bags will be filled with no longer used or unwanted belongs ranging from clothing or personal objects I have no use for.

Instead of throwing away these items or selling some for my own personal benefit I have decided to recycle them in a giving way that can provide happiness for others.

For me, clutter in my surroundings can stress me out and cause me to lose focus as I’m too busy focusing on the environment I’m in.

Therefore, de-cluttering can make me less stressed which in hand makes day-to-day activities easier.

I can often hold onto things and find it hard to let go of sentimental items (which actually have no sentimental value whatsoever!)  Hence the de-cluttering can remove negative feelings towards items that I have held onto.  Recycling them to another can help me let go and feel that I have accomplished something by giving to other people less fortunate and bring a smile to their face.

In my opinion, the way I treat my surroundings can reflect my mental state so my motto is tidy room tidy mind. Having an organised space supports my head space.

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Don’t forget – we are here if you need to talk

For support with depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions contact Changing Minds IAPT. Under 18? Visit CAMHS Live
For a range of other mental health support visit Mental Health Northants Collaboration or Northamptonshire Healthcare
Are you finding everyday tasks more difficult? Contact Supporting Independence.

Suicidal thoughts? Call 111 or the Samaritans on 116 123. You can also visit a Crisis Cafe – available across the county

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