20 November 2017

By Kathryn Garnett, Community Network Developer, North England

Support Scrabble Tiles.

A couple of years ago, I had an injury which left me with debilitating pain and impacted on my ability to eat, move, lift anything heavy, or drive.  This was particularly tricky because I live alone with no family close by to help and I needed to get to hospital for appointments.

After a bit of research I found out about a volunteer driver scheme in my village and reached out to ask for help.  On the day of my appointment, Brenda and Derek knocked at my door, they were both around 80 years old. The role reversal felt a bit strange at first - normally a young person would be the volunteer supporting the older person - but whilst Derek drove, Brenda sat in the back knitting and as an aspiring knitter we started chatting right away.  Brenda knits for the premature baby ward at the hospital and was coming along so she could donate her latest items.

As they dropped me back home after my appointment Brenda suggeted we meet up again so she could share some knitting tips and that's how our friendship began.

Since then we try to meet every few months, although Brenda is much more of a social butterfly than I am, always out and about involved with lots of community groups and societies.  I value her perspective on what she sees on the news, which is often different to my peers, and I admire her attitude to life - she really embraces the moment, something I try to do myself.

I was immensely grateful for Derek and Brenda's kindness when I was ill and needed support, but I have gained so much more from their kind act than I ever expected.  I joke that she is my surrogate grandma, but really I have found a very good friend.

Check out our Kindness competition on Facebook - Share your random act of kindness and you could win a copy of Bernadette Russell's The Little Book of Kindness!

The Kindness effect - Giving time and sharing talents

Spread the ripple of kindness - here are  Five Ways to be kind to yourself and others!