7 amazing acts of kindness in Suffolk
This week saw World Kindness day – so what are some of the nicest things that people are doing in Suffolk?
Whether it's helping those less well off than themselves are simply making neighbours a coffee to cheer them up, this great county is full of people trying to do good and help others.
And while there are far too many acts of kindness to include in one list, here are just seven wonderfully kind acts which show just how lovely our area is.
Little seven-year-old Dejah, from Ipswich, is trying to spread happiness around the county with her glittery sunflowers.
The Gusford Primary School pupil has hand-made 200 of the pretty creations with her mum, which will be passed from person to person to keep people smiling.
"I love to make people smile it makes the world a better place," said Dejah.
Nine-year-old Kit didn't care that people made fun of him for looking like a girl - but grew his hair long before chopping off his lovely blonde locks to give to the Little Princess Trust, so they could use them to make a wig for cancer sufferers.
He also raised £500 for the charity, with video of his kind act reaching 1million views on Twitter.
"My mum told me if I carried on growing my hair I could donate it to be made into a wig and that sounded like a really cool thing to do," said Kit, from Hollesley.
This year Debbie Watson, from Woodbridge, launched Wednesday's Child - a social enterprise which allows those concerned about friends and family going through mental health struggles to send a carefully curated gift box.
Dubbed 'kindness in a box', Ms Watson believes the boxes are merely a gateway into a community of other services, events and coaching activities specifically designed to acknowledge the troubling world of eating disorders.
"Wednesday's Child's boxes aren't about an automatic fix but they are about showing empathy and reminding an individual of their worth," she said.
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Founder of Families in Need Maureen Reynel has admitted that "sometimes I cry" when she sees the plight of people from Ipswich in the depths of poverty.
Her charity runs a foodbank which is seeing an ever-increasing demand, so much so that this year it built brand new premises so it could help more people.
Yet there is little that stops Mrs Reynel from going.
"I don't feel I've got to give up because I can't keep going any more," she said.
"If I think something is not right, I'm not going to lie down and let the government sort it out - because they won't."
In one of the biggest kindness networks Suffolk has, Meet Up Mondays invites people of all ages suffering from loneliness to make friends, chat and enjoy a brew or two.
Peasenhall was the first place to set up a group, with remote areas such as Rendlesham also benefiting from a place where people can meet and talk.
"Every time I go, I hear stories about lasting friendships being made and it's fantastic," said Sally Connick from Community Action Suffolk, who coordinates the scheme.
He may be Suffolk's biggest celebrity, but Ed Sheeran does not let stardom prevent him from helping his home county.
The Shape of You singer frequently donates items of his clothing to the St Elizabeth Hospice shop in his Framlingham hometown and even gave students at Thomas Mill School - his old stomping ground - free tickets to his homecoming gigs in Ipswich this year.
MORE: Ed Sheeran donates 300 items of clothing to charity shop
Home-Start in Suffolk aids parents struggling with a range of challenges so children enjoy the best start in life.
It helped 412 families between April 2018 and April 2019 - a rise of 90 on the previous year.
It plans to continue expanding by helping another extra 50 families in the coming year, as issues such as the rising cost of living and greater prevelance of mental ill health put increased pressure on young parents.
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