Inspired by the novel, ‘Pay It Forward’, studied as part of their 2nd project ‘Can Kindness Change the World?’ The REAL team of staff and support staff escorted our Year 7 REAL students on a walk down to Gateshead Metrocentre on Tuesday 2nd April.
The reason for this visit was a ‘flash mob’ style mission to carry out acts of kindness that would promote kindness in our community. Each REAL class congregated in different zones within Gateshead Metrocentre where they promptly began handing out small gifts to shoppers along with kind words and small business cards which informed them that they had received an act of kindness from a Kingsmeadow student and encouraging them to ‘Pay It Forward’ by being kind to others.
The whole event only lasted approximately 15 minutes during which time over 500 ‘token gifts’ were distributed to surprised shoppers. Our REAL students were respectful, considerate and kind and the experience left all involved with a REAL sense of pride. The feedback from members of the public was fantastic with comments such as 'you must be very proud of your impeccably behaved and respectful students.' and 'what a wonderful idea to show young people in such a positive light'. We have also received emails from people who received gifts from us to tell us that they were delighted to meet such well turned out and well mannered students and the gifts were a lovely gesture of kindness.
One lady in particular, Mrs Sheila Toes, insisted on giving one of our teachers some money after being approached by our students with a little gift of kindness. Despite Miss Vincent’s protestations and requests for the lady to ‘Pay it Forward’, as opposed to making a donation to us, Mrs Toes was adamant that Miss Vincent take £20.00 as she was so delighted with the whole concept of our students carrying out these acts of kindness. We have decided that the £20.00 will be spent on food items to donate to Gateshead foodbank so that her kindness is ‘Paid Forward’. The foodbank drive we’re having this week is another Year 7 initiative inspired by the project.