In this Random Acts of Kindness week, we are all encouraged to make kindness the norm.

Take this week as an opportunity to show appreciation for those around us, notice those in need, give back to others, and to pay it forward.

Over 9 million adults in the UK are often and always lonely. You'd be amazed at how long people remember a small act of kindness - it really does make the world of difference.

Volunteer befrienders give their time to show kindness to people experiencing loneliness and isolation. Befrienders usually visit or phone lonely and isolated people once a week, to have a chat and to remind them that someone is thinking of them. The person being visited has something to look forward to and someone new to share their experiences with, and the befriender takes gets pleasure from making a difference to someone else.

Our befriending project Time to Talk encourages our befrienders to show little acts of kindness to the person they are matched with. Volunteer John visits or calls Frank on a weekly basis. For much of the day Frank is sat in an armchair looking out of the window. To give Frank something to enjoy looking at, John gave Frank a bird feeder and some bird seed. Frank now enjoys watching the birds in his garden and chatting with John about what he has seen. This little act of kindness made such a difference to Frank and John takes great pleasure in knowing this. ‘I was happy to do it’ said John, it was a little something to brighten Frank’s Day.’

Lucy made regular telephone calls to Jean throughout the first lockdown. They got on famously throughout this time chatting and when they finally met face to face, they got to know one another even better. As Jean was unlikely to see family on her birthday, Lucy was keen to organise a special treat, so she made arrangements to take Jean to the local garden Centre for tea and cake. Jean was delighted to have been remembered by Lucy on her special day and Lucy shared with us that it ‘makes her happy to know that she has made someone else happy and brightened their day.’

Lisa visited Amy every week for a number of months, In conversation, Amy shared that she had never been able to visit the grave of someone special she had lost, years ago. Lisa made the decision to surprise Amy one day, by driving her to the grave and staying with her whilst she laid flowers for the very first time. For Amy, this was a long-term wish fulfilled and a very precious moment. Our volunteer Lisa explained that for her ‘it was a small thing’ that she ‘wanted to support Amy fulfil her wish,’ ‘it was an honour’ and brought her ‘immense pleasure to be able to do it.’

We're so grateful to all volunteers who support others with their acts of kindness.

If you live in Surrey Heath find out more about Time to Talk here or Surrey-wide, there are lots of local organisations looking for volunteer befrienders - click here for some ideas or contact us for more help if you don't find what you're looking for.