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One small act of compassion can release an enormous chain of positive events and the 12 Days of Kindness was a way for staff and students to take part in a variety of kind activities throughout the month.

Organised by the Volunteering and Mentoring team, the activities ranged from calling a friend or relative to say ‘hello’, to helping someone with something unexpected, supporting local businesses for Small Biz Saturday and taking part in the biggest act of kindness - a reverse advent calendar.

Rebecca Stroud, Mentoring Assistant, said: “We wanted to make the campaign inclusive, so everyone could get involved. We’ve been so impressed with the level of student participation, especially from the 13 students signed up to be 12 Days of Kindness ambassadors.”

The reverse advent calendar was created by the student ambassadors at the end of November and located at the Info Point in the Binks Building for the duration of the 12 Days of Kindness, encouraging staff and students to donate items from a wish list, to be distributed to three charities (Chester Aid to the Homeless, West Cheshire Foodbank and Share Shop, Chester) before the end of term.

Shaunagh Smith, Volunteer Co-ordinator, said: “Charities have suggested that homelessness in Chester has increased significantly in the last few years and those who have nowhere warm to stay are left extremely uncomfortable, and at worst in a genuinely life-threatening situation, so we really wanted to do something to help before the cold weather hits, which is how we came up with the 12 Days of Kindness.”

On the final day of the campaign, the team sorted through the huge amount of donations ready for them to be distributed to the charities. They sorted through over 750 items, including 220 tins of food, 74 instant noodles, 40 pairs of socks, 24 woolly hats, 45 shower gels, 27 tubes of toothpaste, and much more.

Jo Morison, Mentoring Project Officer, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of staff and students, and thrilled by the response to the first ever 12 Days of Kindness Campaign.”

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