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8 acts of kindness to inspire you during #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

This Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) we’re highlighting the incredible acts of kindness we’ve seen by our students, staff, alumni and local community during the pandemic.  

Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and solidarity. In fact, research shows that kindness and our mental health are deeply connected.  

1. Cash for charities   

Using the points collected on the wellbeing app Enlitened, students have made 92 donations equalling £383 to charities such as Student Minds, WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal and Papyrus.  

Students can download the app on the App Store and Google Play – visit the Enlitened website for more details.  

2. Altruistic alumni  

To support the most vulnerable in their community in Pakistan, graduates Sikander Bizenjo and Banari Mengal have set up the Balochistan Youth Against Corona group to distribute food and support the poorest in their region.  

Hear first-hand from Sikander Bizenjo on the UEA Community Blog.  

3. Masks making a difference   

Songze Chang who is from China has been distributing face masks he bought with his own money and those donated by people in his home country, to elderly people in Norwich.  

Read more about Songze’s initiative.  

4. A sign a day  

Learning Disability Nurse and UEA lecturer Kirsty Henry has been posting daily videos to #GetTheNationSigning on her Twitter page, teaching British Sign Language vocabulary useful during the pandemic.  

Visit Kirsty’s Twitter to watch her videos.  

5. Businesses bend over backwards 

Businesses got behind our call for ethanol and other supplies to manufacture hand santiser in our labs for local NHS Trusts. Adnams, Wilk Knight, M&H Plastics and PCE Automation have donated materials and helped with transportation and distribution.  

Find out how the sanistiser is being put to good use.  

6. Soothing tired hands  

Nursing student Phoebe Parker wanted to see how she could help her fellow nurses on the frontline, after she had to shield due to a health condition. She has raised £350 for hand cream for nurses who are constantly washing their hands.  

Listen to UEA’s Nursing Podcast where Phoebe features.  

7. Caring for children of care workers  

Students in medicine, nursing and occupational therapy have been volunteering to provide free childcare for healthcare workers in the local area through Helping Hands East Anglia. Final year medicine student Tanya Ta has been juggling work in the NHS with co-ordinating the project. 

Find out why she decided to dedicate her time to this project.   

8. Banking on donations  

Even before the UK was placed in lockdown, uea(su) Welfare, community and diversity officer, Amelia Trew responded to the pandemic by collecting items for local food banks. 

Find out how you can donate.  

Get involved  

Share your stories and photos of kindness using our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (don’t forget to tag UEA) and use #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek to join in the conversation.  

You can also email communications@uea.ac.uk if you’d like to share your story.  

Find out more  

For more information about Mental Health Awareness week, run by the Mental Health Foundation, visit their website.  

Access #UEAStaffWellbeing resources, or support for students. There are also COVID-19 wellbeing resources.