Change-Makers: Bee Happy
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Keep Doing Good has been running for a few weeks now, and so many of you are helping your local communities through volunteering and social action! In Northumberland, Heaven, Jemma, Lily and Rachel started a project for positivity....
“We put together packs filled with kind messages and created some ‘bee kind bracelets,” said Jemma, one of the NCS Grads taking part in the Bee Happy - Random Acts of Kindness project in Northumberland. “The project aims to support mental health after lockdown and help spread positivity in our communities.”
Along with the bracelet, the girls wrote kind messages saying ‘Close your eyes and make a wish, then place this bracelet on your wrist. When the cord frays and wears through, that is when your wish comes true.’
They donated some of the bracelets to the British Heart foundation store in Morpeth, which were quickly snapped up! Jemma explains, “Straight away an elderly customer collected one. I think because she’d been isolating and hadn’t had her usual contact with the outside world, she was overwhelmed - such a small action made a big difference to this lady.”
The team also created cards that they displayed around the city centre, with positive messages, and in total, helped to deliver 12,000 random acts of kindness!
Lily led the team on a project to help the local environment. Having previously taken part in climate change projects, she knew she wanted to do something to ensure where they lived was the best place it could be - for everyone and for the planet - as so many people relied on the seafront as a place to get some space during lockdown.
She said, “We are all passionate about the environment, so we wanted to improve the beachfront at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. We spent the day picking up litter - you’d be surprised at how many little bits of plastic and rubbish blow into hedges and are scattered across the beach.”
The project was so successful that ITV News even caught wind of it and travelled to Northumberland to interview the girls!
“ITV News were interested in our project so came out to film and speak to us on the beach. We told the reporter how lockdown had affected us as teenagers, like how exams were cancelled and why we wanted to volunteer our time on NCS this summer.” Said Rachel.
Heaven agreed, and said she “wants other teams to be inspired by our work and carry out their own projects.” And, if you’re in the North East, you’re in luck! She went on to explain, “NCS provider Groundwork North East are helping to provide the materials for the bracelets and printing costs and we’ve made sure that charity shops and other organisations received donations from us.”
And it’s not just the community that is benefitting from the team’s hard work. Rachel has seen a lot of good things coming from her time volunteering that are impacting her own life, “If it wasn’t for NCS, I’d be at home isolated from friends. We’ve already missed out on school, prom, holidays and our usual summer. Through volunteering I’ve been able to meet new people, build my CV and give back to the community. Not only is it helping me, but it feels great to help those that need support most right now.”
WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHERE YOU ARE?
And if you’ve already taken part in a social action project that you’re proud of, let us know! Tell us all about it here.