…And it was ‘A OK’ on the day

9 October 2016

Preston’s first kindness day creates social media frenzy

The people of Preston shared the love yesterday as random acts of kindness took place across the city.

From hugs to free sports massages to giving someone a brew and a cookie, the UCLan Acts of Kindness Day was a resounding success both on campus and in the city.

The day-long event was organised by a cross-section of staff and students from all areas of the University with UCLan believed to be the first university in the UK to hold an event of this kind for staff, students and the general public. Visitors to UCLan’s ‘In the City’ shop in St George’s Centre were treated to free massages from physiotherapy students and took part in kindness-related craft activities such as making twiddle muffs for dementia patients.

The event proved to be very popular on Twitter as people shared their kindness experiences on the day with the hashtag #UCLanAOK trending as the second most popular in the North West with a reach of almost 175,000. Comments on Twitter included: “#UCLanAOK (Act of Kindness day) today was ace! I love working at UCLan - everyone is awesome!” and “We had so much fun today out in Preston city centre, spreading the word that it is Act of kindness day. #UCLanAOK”

In addition to the events that took place in St George’s Shopping Centre, UCLan set up several Kindness Kabins on campus for visitors to pledge their own acts of kindness, drop off items for the homeless and pick up some freebies to give to a friend or colleague such as cookies and balloons. The children of English Martyrs Catholic Primary School also had a nice surprise when they finished school with the arrival of a giant giraffe offering free hugs to all.

Dr Lorraine Dacre Pool, Senior Lecturer in Employability, was the event’s main organiser. She said: “The whole day was fantastic with a brilliant atmosphere both on campus and in the city. There was so much kindness and so many smiles. Thanks to all who made it such a success.”

To view images from the event visit UCLan’s Flickr gallery or to see what happened on the day follow #UCLanAOK on Twitter.