University invites public to share its first Acts of Kindness Day
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is bringing some TLC to the City as it marks its first ever Acts of Kindness (AOK) Day on Thursday 6 October.
People are being invited to embrace UCLan’s kindness initiative at the University’s St George’s Centre ‘In the City’ shop on Lune Street. Visitors can pop in for a free brew and cake, take part in kindness-related craft activities and even enjoy a free massage from UCLan physiotherapy students.
The day-long event has been 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.
"One small act of kindness can make a big difference to somebody’s day so we decided to get the ball rolling at UCLan to make a positive difference both on campus and in the community."
Dr Lorraine Dacre Pool, Senior Lecturer in Employability, is the event’s main organiser. She said: “Our intention is to make UCLan and Preston a kinder and happier place to be. One small act of kindness can make a big difference to somebody’s day so we decided to get the ball rolling at UCLan to make a positive difference both on campus and in the community.”
Other events will take place on campus including a number of Kindness Kabins where visitors can pledge their own acts of kindness, drop off items for the homeless and pick up some mood lifting freebies to give to a friend or colleague such as cookies and balloons. Both in the shop and on campus, ‘AOK Day pass it on cards’ will be available to encourage people to perform an act of kindness for someone else.
"Our mental wellbeing can be enhanced by simply noting and counting good deeds at the end of each week. This could be because being kind makes us value ourselves as good people and thus makes us feel more positive."
UCLan Senior Psychology Lecturer Dr Sandi Mann has researched the psychology behind being kind and the positive effects it can have on people. She said: “Our mental wellbeing can be enhanced by simply noting and counting good deeds at the end of each week. This could be because being kind makes us value ourselves as good people and thus makes us feel more positive; by counting our acts of kindness in a week, we are reminding ourselves about how nice we are and thus we are able to enhance our own self-esteem.
“This is why I often ask my depressed clients to keep a journal of good deeds. Even the thought of helping others makes us happier and there are physiological reasons for this; brain scans show that just thinking about helping activates the mesolimbic pathway in the brain which produces the feel-good chemical dopamine.”
The UCLan in The City Shop is open from 9.00am – 4.30pm for the UCLan Act of Kindness Day and visitors are welcome to pop in at any time. To follow the event on social media, follow the hashtag #UCLanAOK