Young people spread kindness across West Yorkshire

Over 30 local young people organisations have signed up to support a campaign to #SpreadTheKindness across West Yorkshire.  With thousands of others getting involved online or via local events. Neighbours young people_social media graphics_NEW-08.png

In September the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership launched an exciting new phase of the ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ community campaign. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic the campaign had inspired over 49,000 people to get involved by making a positive difference to their neighbours’ lives through acts of kindness. With phases two and three then reaching over 731,982 people and online audiences.

In September the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership launched an exciting new phase of the ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ community campaign. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic the campaign had inspired over 49,000 people to get involved by making a positive difference to their neighbours’ lives through acts of kindness. With phases two and three then reaching over 731,982 people and online audiences.

#SpreadTheKindness set out to reach 15–24-year-olds living, in education or working across the area.  A campaign coproduced with young people aims to encourage young people to check in and share positive messages with friends either online or in person. It also aims prevent loneliness in the community, which has an impact on young people too.

2,500 of the five-ways to kindness postcards inspired young people to share kind and supportive words with each other.

A photo montage of some of the highlights from the campaign has been created and can be viewed online here

Highlights of the campaign include photographs and videos, feedback from young people and supporters case studies, all captured during the three-month campaign and summarised in an evaluation report available to read here

The Youth Association is one of the campaign’s most recent supporters, encouraging young people at their events to fill in the postcards and send them to each other, shared across social media platforms.

Emily from the Youth Association said: “The campaign received a lot of positive feedback, mainly for its simplicity and how it easy it is for young people to get on board”.

The Brunswick Centre is a charity located in Huddersfield offering a range of services and projects to various communities in Calderdale and Kirklees. The young people they work alongside really embraced spreading kindness.

Kate Ribchester, LGBTQ youth worker from the Brunswick Centre said: “We are constantly seeing young people struggling with their mental health. Spreading acts of kindness, we know helps improve mental health and spreads happiness, it was a great campaign and our young people loved getting involved and showing extra support for each other! We will continue to spread the kindness and make it a priority”. 

Beate Wagner, Corporate Director of Children and Young People's Services at Wakefield Council and Joint Senior Responsible Officer for the West Yorkshire Children, Young People and Families Programme, said: “This campaign has highlighted that local young people are contributing positively to society and have played an inspirational role in proactively helping others throughout the pandemic. #SpreadTheKindness has been one way for them to show how much they care about not just each other, but other people who may have been isolated or needed help and their communities.

Dr Adam Sheppard, Chair of NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group, and the urgent and emergency care programme board, who have funded the campaign said: “The campaign has been a real opportunity to bring young people and various causes and groups together.  We are delighted that it has been a positive experience for many and hope that across West Yorkshire we all continue to be kind and keep looking out for each other especially over the winter months ahead.”  

You can find out more about the campaign and supporters at https://ourneighbours.org.uk/

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