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10 ways to give loved ones and your local community a ‘little lift’

The past year has been a challenge for everyone. We sought inspiration from others during these troubled times — including the heart-warming messages of hope from dear Captain Sir Tom Moore — when we needed it the most. As we enter this next phase, it’s important to continue to support loved ones and personally contribute to continuing his legacy.

In the wise words of Captain Sir Tom Moore, “one step has the power to inspire one hundred more”. So, give your loved ones and local community a ‘little lift’ with these 10 inspirational, inclusive and inexpensive ideas — from kind gestures to exciting events.

1. Send a thoughtful gift — from beautiful blooms to bakes

“I saw this and thought of you” goes a long way in cheering someone up. Gifts are not limited to birthdays or Christmas; they’re worth sending simply to celebrate a loved one or make them feel special. As the old saying goes, “it’s more about the thought that went into it, than the item itself”. This could be a book you read and loved, or a jigsaw puzzle to keep them entertained. Other lovely options are yummy cupcakes (Deliveroo delivers from local bakeries in many regions) or a beautiful bouquet. We recommend a letterbox-sized parcel (Bloom&Wild posts fabulous flowers through the door) to ensure it truly is a surprise for the recipient and you needn’t ask them in advance to wait in for the postman.

2. Write a letter

Text messages and emails are now de rigueur for everyday conversations. But if you’re looking to go the extra mile, sending a loved one a handwritten note will feel so much more personal. Tell them your latest news, share positive affirmations and ask the recipient how they are doing. It will show how much you care and is a sure-fire way to put a big smile on their face. And, as an added bonus, it will help you to keep up your handwriting skills.

3. Organise a picnic

As the weather warms up, the rolling countryside and beautiful beaches beckon. Al-fresco feasting is a mood-boosting, memory-making must. Organise an outdoors activity with your friends or family. You’ll enjoy planning and preparing (feel inspired by our baking expert Val Stones, who’s delicious scones recipe is worth whipping up). It will lift your loved ones’ mood knowing there’s a special event to look forward to — and that they’ll see you, of course! A post-picnic stroll in the fresh air, surrounded by seasonal nature, will send your endorphins surging.

4. Go green — pass on seedlings and plant flowers for your community

Gardening grew in popularity over lockdown. As we approach our second spring at home, you may consider yourself seed savvy or seek a new pursuit after mastering banana bread. If you’re currently growing produce or plants and find yourself with excess seedlings, gift them to a green-fingered friend. Alternatively, sow them in your community garden for local residents to enjoy. Once your homegrown goodies have ripened, share with loved ones — they’ll welcome fresh, flavourful fruit and veggies on their plates! Or why not craft a stunning hanging basket full of their favourite flowers?

5. Post a motivational message in your window or on social media

Lockdown heralded a heart-warming trend of people popping positivity-packed posters in the windows of their homes, like a resplendent rainbow for the NHS. An uplifting message with an eye-catching image — ‘Tomorrow will be a good day’ inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore, for example — will likely attract attention from neighbours and passers-by.

In a virtual world, sharing a supportive social media post to your followers is an equally effective way to give many people a ‘little lift’. If one person stops in their scrolling tracks and smiles, or 100 passers-by note your window sign with a cheery nod, that’s a wonderful accomplishment. It involves minimal effort for maximum reward! We’ve created ready-made signs and templates to personalise to help you on your happiness mission; download them here.

6. Hide heart-warming notes around your home

A meaningful message goes a long way — even if it’s within the four walls of your home! Write a joke on a post-it note, then stick inside the wardrobe door to make your partner smile first thing in the morning. Or, serve up alphabet spaghetti for a little loved one with a special phrase spelt out.

7. Re-connect with an old friend via Facebook or a phone call

Surprise an old friend or distant family member with a phone call; it could be someone you went to school with or a cousin. Check in and reminisce on the good old days; they’ll be so touched. If this feels overly familiar, reach out on Facebook. It’ll be a delightful surprise seeing your name pop up in their social media inbox. Both approaches offer an instant way to say hello. Uplifting quotes, including those by the much-missed Captain Sir Tom Moore are available to share here. 

8. Greet and smile at others

When a friendly stranger smiles at you or a neighbour waves from across the street and says “lovely weather we’re having!”, you likely feel appreciated. Studies show that when we see a smiling face, our brains release feel-good hormones that make us feel happier and calmer. So, share the social niceties! They needn’t be exclusive to your inner circle. Why not thank your postman for their hard work through the pandemic, or compliment a fellow dog walker on how sweet their four-legged friend is? We’re living through a challenging time and you never know the struggles someone else is experiencing.

9. Set up an outdoor treasure hunt for your grandchildren

The past year has been particularly cruel for grandparents, so compensate for lost time by making memories filled with high-pitched giggles, imagination and joie de vivre. Set up a scavenger hunt in your garden or nearby park, then enjoy the activity together. Create your own clues and treasure, or printable versions are available online.

10. Share a special song

Music evokes pure joy and, like scent, grants immediate access to a memory — a holiday, a party or dancing around the family kitchen. Search for a special song on YouTube, then send a link via WhatsApp or Facebook to someone you share a precious past with. Music played a poignant role in Captain Sir Tom’s incredible impact on the nation; his record-breaking rendition of ‘We’ll Meet Again’ offered hope when it was needed most. What’s your valued version? Who will it strike a chord with? If you’re seeking inspiration, our Entertainment Aficonado Richard Allinson shares his favourite musical moments, including pioneering performances by legends Elvis Presley and The Beatles

Keep your spirits high and lift others in the process. Keep on being you.

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