COMMUNITY MAKES US

  • Kindness is not an act, it is a lifestyle. With the frequent news headlines about the rise in energy and food prices, its not hard to recognise that the coming winter is going to be very difficult for many people, more people in all probability, than last year. Keeping connected to neighbours family and friends is vital as we go through these tough times and we work hard on this as you know, with our village visits, our MeetUpMondays network and our c-a-f-e network. With the best will in the world though, these wont pay the bills!
    If you are in a position to help financially, we would like to suggest three ways this can be done:
    1. Winter Fuel Allowance. If you don’t need yours, you can donate it to Suffolk Community Foundation ‘Rebuilding Local Lives appeal’ and they will redistribute the funds to households that need help.
    2. Sign up to 500 Suffolk Reasons and donate £1 a week to create a pot of kindness for a household struggling to cope. At the moment these awards can only be made once a month but as the membership grows so will the number of beneficiaries. 500suffolkreasons.org for more info.
    3. Donate to our Slow Cooker appeal: Cooking With Kindness Again Slow cookers are very cheap to use and make delicious meals out of the cheapest ingredients. Last year we gave out 500! We want to do this again if we can.
    All of these ways to help mean that your gift stays local, something we know can mean a lot.
    We are all in the same storm but not necessarily in the same boat
    …so if you can help, you won’t change the world but you will make the world of change to someone who needs this kindness. Plus in our experience, kindness begets kindness and we know that beneficiaries in the past have ‘paid it forward’ , so its really a win win situation.
    Any questions, do please get in touch by calling 01379 855338, or by emailing us, or via our social media.
    Thank you.
    Kindness is not an act, it is a lifestyle
  • Local news and information for Suffolk Villages. Suffolk Village Info is a great, clearly presented Local News website offering countywide info, news, job listings, property news (including new home developments), charity activities and local restaurant reviews. Their homepage includes beautiful snapshots of Suffolk villages and info on population, local facilities and history of the village name.

    grid of images each showing a different Suffolk village

  • Paint a rock or pebble with kind words to leave on a neighbours doorstep. A lovely way to connect with your neighbours and spread a bit of cheer to folk, particularly those who may be isolating on their own, giving them a reason to pop outside and interact. Here’s some examples from The Kindness Rocks Project. Paint your own ideas or look at the Kindness Rocks Facebook page if you need some tips and inspiration. There are other Kindness resources and free downloads on their website.

    image showing three photos of painted rocks each with a positive message hand painted onto them: plant smiles, grow laughter, harvest love; we are all in this together; stay positive

  • Backyard Buddies. Why not suggest this to folk in your community? If neighbours are able to lower their hedges or remove part of their fence panelling to open a ‘window’ to chat to a neighbour through, then it’s a great way to keep people socially connected. Remember the 6ft / 2 metre distancing rule of course! Please encourage people to share their photos of this to Rural Coffee Caravan Cascade of Kindness Facebook or RCC Twitter pages and let’s get a gallery of #friendshipnotfences together! Don’t forget to tag #backyardbuddies when sharing your photos!
    The full stories behind these photos can be found at EADT & Ipswich Star.

    collection of 5 images showing #backyard buddies - people who have removed fence panels to give neighbours social access to each other during the lockdown, with text explaining each situation

  • Community Catalysts are a UK social enterprise which aims to help local people to help their community. Community Catalysts

  • NHS Wellbeing Friends Wellbeing Suffolk have launched a new project called ‘Wellbeing Friends’ and are asking for all mental health supporters to get involved to help your community by becoming a Wellbeing Friend.  Visit the NHS Wellbeing website to find out more and sign up.

    NHS Wellbeing Friends promo

  • The Friendly Bench is a safe, easily accessible mini-community garden with integrated seating and sensory planting, situated within communities for people to meet, chat, connect with nature, and build friendships and a sense of belonging. It is an active social hub in your community, managed, funded and run by its own voluntary group, where free community led activities are held. The Friendly Bench CIC aims to tackle loneliness, social isolation and build community cohesion using their innovative, purposely designed outdoor social spaces that reconnect people back to their own community. Find out how to bring The Friendly Bench to your neighbourhood by following the link.

    The Friendly Bench

  • Rural Coffee Caravan #RandomActsOfKindness printouts. A “Thank You!” poster – display it in your window, tape it to your bins, give it to your local delivery driver or the person behind the counter at your local store. Print one for the volunteer, carer, friend or family member who helps you out. A little thanks can go a long way to lifting people up and acknowledging the difference they’re making.

    Rural Coffee Caravan Thank You printout

    Rural Coffee Caravan Thank You! Poster/printout PDF

    We’ve also created a ‘Cuppa For a Friend’ printable card kit which you can make at home. Tuck a tea or coffee sachet into the pocket and ‘share’ it with a friend or neighbour, ’til you can next have one together in person.

    image showing three greetings card designs of teacups with tea/brew related greetings for Rural Coffee Caravan Cascade of Kindness initiative

    Rural Coffee Caravan ‘Cuppa For a Friend’ – card kit pack PDF 

    Do share photos or mentions of the #RandomActsOfKindness you’ve spread, to our Rural Coffee Caravan Facebook page, we’d love to see and hear about them!

  • Frontyard Pen Pals. When out for your walk, post messages to your neighbours by hanging them on a tree or shrub in their garden. Use it as an introduction if you don’t know them. It’s fun but also a useful way of giving folk a reason to go outside and interact. We are already hearing some people say their confidence is diminishing. They could post messages back and it’s something that children could do. Maybe use a jar with wire so that you can hang and even post little gifts in! Definitely an idea to play with…

    photo showing labels with messages of kindness written on them and hung in a bush or tree