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Northumbria shares continuing acts of kindness ahead of Christmas

20th December 2022

The kindness of Northumbria staff and students has been felt around the world, from raising money for children in war-torn countries to feeding those in need across the city of Newcastle.

For the last few years Northumbria University have organised a Random Acts of Kindness competition, inviting staff and students to share how they have been helping the community and beyond, encouraging others to do the same.

In the lead up to the holidays, we were unsurprised to discover the fantastic ways people were lifting the spirits of those around them and going the extra mile to not only be kind, but to have an impact on lives.

Business and Marketing student, Jamal Sheikh was the student winner of the competition, having been voted for his determination to help those in need within his local community. Jamal regularly picks up Too Good To Go bags and delivers them to homeless people in West Jesmond. This has become less of a random act and more of a routine for him, helping whenever he can.

The other winning nomination was Karen Robinson, who works in the faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences at Northumbria and was nominated by a colleague for regularly devoting her time to helping charities. On Friday evenings she volunteers at the People's Kitchen in Newcastle, and has previously been part of the Befriending Service with Age UK.

Another member of staff was nominated for being there for their colleague when they needed support from a friend, taking time out of their busy week to accompany them at a hospital appointment for a breast screen. As written in their nomination: “Having her with me meant the world to me and for this selfless act of kindness and friendship she deserves recognition.”

Acts of kindness go a long way no matter how big or small. This has been demonstrated in abundance from across the Northumbria community. Salwa Bowen, who was one of the shortlisted staff entries, shared how one small act can inspire nationwide action.

Wanting to educate her children on the importance of giving back to others, she set up the My Little Heart To Yours organisation, which raises money for children in war-torn countries. Her daughter was so passionate about the project, she inspired a team of children from across the country, who are helping her reach her individual target of £5000 through sponsored bike rides, swims and hikes.

At a bakery in London, Cyber Security Technology With Advanced Practice student, Talha Hafeez identified a food waste problem and came up with a solution. Working under an ‘everything fresh’ policy, food would ordinarily have been discarded at the end of the day. However, Talha came up with a plan which was supported by the bakery, to distribute the leftover baked goods to charities and homeless people across the city.

Northumbria staff and students are committed to supporting each other, following the ethos – it’s on me, it’s on you, it’s on us – which means everyone looks out for each other and are good citizens in the community. Find out more about the University’s It’s On Us campaign.

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