52 Lives of Kindness

9th September 2021
We were delighted to be able to invite Greig and Jaime from 52 Lives of Kindness back to Westbury this week, albeit over Zoom! 
 
52 Lives is a charity set up by Jaime which aims to change 52 lives a year through acts of kindness. In a Zoom call this morning Greig explained how the charity began to Swallows and Horse Chestnut classes and also shared with them the physical and mental benefits of being kind. 
 
Did you Know? 
 
Kindness Can Help Us Feel Happier
When we experience kindness, a hormone called dopamine is released in our brain which gives us a feeling of elevation and lifts our mood - it’s often referred to as ‘Helper’s High’. This can help to reduce anxiety, alleviate depression and help us feel happier.
 
Kindness is Good for the Heart
Have you noticed that when you are kind to someone, you feel good inside? Acts of kindness are often accompanied by a feeling of emotional warmth which in turn produces the hormone oxytocin in your body.
Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide in blood vessels, which expands the blood vessels, reduces blood pressure and protects the heart. In this way, kindness is considered to be 'cardio-protective.' 
 
Kindness Slows Ageing
Kindness has been shown to slow down the ageing process. Remarkable research found that oxytocin can reduce levels of free radicals and inflammation (two main culprits of ageing) in our cardiovascular system, which slows ageing at the source.
 
Kindness Improves Relationships
Kindness at its core is a gesture motivated by genuine, warm feelings for others. We tend to like people who show us kindness. This is because kindness reduces the emotional distance between two people and makes us feel more ‘bonded’. It’s true, we are genetically wired for kindness!
 
Kindness is Contagious
Just as a pebble creates waves when it is dropped in a pond, so acts of kindness ripple outwards, touching others’ lives and inspiring kindness everywhere the wave goes. When we are kind, we inspire others to be kind and studies show that it actually creates a ripple effect that spreads outwards to our friends’ friends’ friends – that’s an amazing three degrees of separation. This means that when you are kind to one person, that one act of kindness will positively affect up to 125 people!
 
Kindness Can Help to Relieve Pain
Kindness produces endorphins, which are the brain’s natural painkiller. In fact, volunteering has been found to help to reduce pain and increase the well-being of people with chronic pain. In one study, patients who participated in volunteer activities reported both decreased pain and "a sense of purpose."
 
We think you'll agree that being kind is awesome! 
Greig also told us about a thirteen year old girl who needed some kindness in her life. Her mum is ill and she has to help look after her and also her nine year old sister. They don't have much money and life is very difficult at times. She feels very sad and alone.
 
We spent the rest of the day making some amazing things to show her that we cared and were thinking of her. We made cards, letters, some games, worry dolls, a dream catcher, video and power points, flowers and bracelets. 
 
Greig and Jaime joined us in another Zoom call to share all that we had made. They were astonished at what we had done and said they would let us know what Kira and her family felt when they received it. 
 
We've all been inspired by the wonderful work 52 Lives of Kindness does. We are going to set up our own kindness board in school to celebrate the kindnesses we do for each other.
 
If you want to know more about the work this charity does please visit