Posted: 12.01.21 at 13:11 by The Editor
January can be a hard month for anyone, with expectations for the new year, pressures of a new diet or personal achievement, and that is without another lockdown to contend with.
With the latest set of regulations adding to the stresses of normal life, Molly Shanahan, owner of Forrest Coffee House has decided to launch a new initiative, the 'Kenilworth Kindness Campaign,' to help bringing a smile to those who need it this January.
The idea behind the campaign is to encourage businesses and residents across Kenilworth to engage in little acts of kindness, and to share these on social media using the hashtag #kenilworthkindness, with the hope that each act will bring a little happiness to somebody's day and that social media will receive a stream of good will.
“The main inspiration behind it was that there is so much focus on December and Christmas being a lonely time, but I think that January can be as hard if not harder," says Molly.
“Especially at the moment, we cannot see friends and family, and there is nothing to look forward to, I just don’t want it to be another dull month after Christmas.
“There is so much pressure on people, and I think there is enough going on for people at the moment as it is."
Forrest began the campaign by reaching out to local independents to get involved, and spread the message.
The response was overwhelming.
Molly has received a huge number of donations from a range of businesses, from jewellery, nails and free food, to photographs, prints and flowers.
Such was the wealth of the response, little gold envelopes filled with heartfelt messages and small surprises are now being given out to Forrest customers at random, as well as small gift bags donated from a variety of businesses.
Each gift also contains a message encouraging the recipient to pass on a token of kindness to someone else in the town.
Molly said: “I have been inundated with so many lovely people offering me things to give away to people, so I came up with this idea of the gold envelopes filled with different little kindnesses that we are giving out at random throughout the day.
“I have started to give them out now and it just seems to make people’s days, honestly people light up when they get one.
“People are so sweet when they receive it, they are like kids, so excited."
The Kenilworth Kindness Campaign has now spread beyond Forrest Coffee House to other businesses in the town.
The Virgins and Castle pub is now offering customers the chance to buy an extra hot drink and hot snack from their pop-up stall, these will then be given at random to a customer later in the day.
Hair stylist at Court Creative Salon, Alice Harris is offering a free smoothing treatment to one deserving person when the salon reopens.
Authentic Aesthetics is offering a free hydrafacial treatment to one deserving recipient, and Kelly Cooper Hair Salon have put together a care package for one lucky resident.
Local yoga instructor Yoga with Rossana is also helping spread kindness and self-care tips to the people of the town. Every day in January Rossana will be sharing simple ways to keep our minds at easy and our bodies feel good.
To bring local businesses together in Kenilworth has been one of the main aims of Forrest since it opened, having taken inspiration from the business community in Leamington Spa.
“Leamington is so good at coming together, with community initiatives that are Leam based, with businesses coming together."
However, Molly has insisted that there is no pressure on businesses or individuals to pursue big gestures of kindness.
“I just wanted to do something that is positive, but is also achievable. It is so easy to do something kind for someone, even a small something. To do something kind it makes you feel good and it makes them feel good.
“Its just to encourage local businesses and people to spread a little kindness, however they see fit. Whether it is giving out little freebies, giving out a gift to someone, or helping someone out in some way."
So now is the time for the rest of the town to get involved in the Kenilworth Kindness Campaign. Whether it be checking in on a neighbour, buying a coffee for somebody random in the street, or offering to pick up some shopping for somebody in need, the message is that the smallest acts of kindness make the biggest difference.
“It is nothing huge, and that is what I wanted, for it to be achievable."
You can follow the campaign on social media by searching #kenilworthkindness on Instagram.
Kenilworth Nub News want to help showcase as many acts of kindness in the town this January. So tag us in your posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, or email our editor at [email protected] and we will share them in our weekly kindness round up.