To mark Random Acts of Kindness Week, which is taking place from 11 February to 18 February, housing association Gentoo has been giving back to local communities in a number of inspiring ways.
From donating gifts, giving time to local community groups or simply going out of their way to make someone smile, staff and volunteers have been making a difference to people’s lives across Sunderland.
One of the charities that benefitted this week was Hetton New Dawn, who are dedicated to improving the lives of financially vulnerable people. Gentoo donated more than 50 hygiene kits, each containing basic toiletries such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and a cloth. The kits will be distributed to individuals and families through Hetton New Dawn’s ‘Place of Welcome’ drop-in sessions for the vulnerable and homeless. A further 450 hygiene kits were also donated to other beneficiaries including Space4, Bethshan Church, Bede Tower and Holmewood House.
Hilary Avent, Community Development Worker, Hetton New Dawn said: “New Dawn supports many people who are in need and are financially vulnerable, through our ‘Places of Welcome’ drop-in sessions.
“This generous donation will mean that we are able to provide much needed hygiene supplies and I’m sure it will make a huge difference to the people we help.”
Another project that benefited was a luncheon club in Easington Lane. Each week, more than 40 local residents come together to enjoy a freshly cooked lunch, organised by volunteers (including Gentoo staff). This week, attendees were treated to a performance by local singer Jessica Dale. Jessica, a former contestant on Gentoo’s Genfactor talent competition, decided to donate her time and give back.
Other volunteering projects Gentoo staff participated in over the course of the week included befriending socially isolated customers and supporting with local community groups.
Michelle Meldrum, Executive Director (Operations), Gentoo Group said: “At Gentoo, we believe in inspiring people to make a difference in their community and it’s been fantastic to see so many people volunteer their time and efforts this week.
“We know that even the smallest gesture can make a big difference. Random Acts of Kindness Week is a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of the positive work Gentoo do all year round and we hope to continue inspiring people and empowering staff to make a positive impact in their local community whenever they can.”
Volunteering is a great way to develop skills, gain experience and give something back. From helping out at local events, participating in estate inspections or supporting children to improve their reading skills.
To find out more about volunteering opportunities at Gentoo, contact us on 0191 525 5203 or email email@example.com