Far from being a year of clear vision, 2020 has not been a pretty sight.
With a grim milestone of over 50,000 COVID deaths in the UK alone being reached this week, along with another national lockdown and rising unemployment, it’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
With today being World Kindness Day, not-for-profit virtual festival, #Kindfest2020 took place online with the aim of unifying communities, celebrating good deeds and raising money for three well-known charity partners.
Kindfest founder and Kinder Lives curator Susie Hills said: “It is essential to explore new ways of working together right now. We need to spread kindness and support people who are struggling – be they our children, loved ones, colleagues or strangers.”
The festival brought together some of the world’s leading thinkers with inspirational figures such as Captain Sir Tom Moore – the 100-year-old war veteran who inspired a nation with his record-breaking fundraiser during lockdown – with his daughter Hannah Ingram Moore, to discuss personal, professional and political kindness.
Captain Tom said: “If you smile at someone maybe they’ll smile back, and just the same with kindness. If you show some kindness to people then maybe you’ll get a little bit in return.
“It is important that we show kindness to a lot of people because they are so short of kindness. It’s rather like loneliness. This is why Kindfest will be a great benefit to all people.”
As well as inspirational talks from a number of big names including Clapham based journalist and mental health campaigner Bryony Gordon, KindFest featured special musical performances by artists such as Billy Bragg, The Include Choir and Frank Turner.
It’s not just on a national level that kindness and selfless good deeds are being recognised, south west Londoners can see examples of this on their own doorsteps too.
Putney MP Fleur Anderson offering her potential pay rise to local charities last month, the work of Wandsworth Food Bank and the efforts of Rosie and her team at the Putney Scrub Hub are great examples in the Wandsworth borough alone.
The Blurt Foundation’s Founder Jayne Hardy said: “KindFest is like a shining beacon on the horizon in what has felt, to many of us, to be an unkind year.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, kindness transforms lives. It bolsters, soothes, fortifies, and ignites something in others in a way that’s instantaneous and long-lasting – the sheer memory of the kind act providing warmth for years to come.”
For those who couldn’t tune in live on World Kindness Day, tickets for a recorded version of the whole festival are available until 13th December.
Tickets start at £5, with pay it forward tickets available for £10 and free tickets released every Friday.
100% of profits go to the three charity partners: The Blurt Foundation, The Captain Tom Foundation and YoungMinds.
Image Credit: From Flickr Ed Yourdon The Kindness of Strangers