A Birmingham shopkeeper has told how his customers’ acts of kindness during the current pandemic have overwhelmed him.
Baljinder Singh who runs Moorpool News and Wine in Harborne said his regulars have inundated him with offers to help the elderly or self-isolating during lockdown.
His story has been documented by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) which has been marking Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) by highlighting random acts of kindness that have been taking place across the region.
Baljinder Singh who runs Moorpool News and Wine in Harborne
He said: “I’ve only been running the shop for a few months but once the pandemic started we really noticed how generous people round here can be. So many of our customers have offered to deliver groceries and newspapers to people who can’t leave their home.
“We even had a nurse from a local hospital come in and said if you’re stuck I can do deliveries for you. We thought that was so generous considering she’s probably working 12-hour shifts.
“It’s all really overwhelming to experience so much compassion for others.”
- Watch Baljinder talking about his experiences of random acts of kindness -
Using the hashtag #WMKindness people have been posting stories about kind acts – small and large – experienced during the pandemic.
Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street said: “Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity to bring the West Midlands together and showcase all the wonderful things people have been doing to help one another. The smallest kind gesture can have a positive effect on the mental health of others and that’s something we should celebrate.
“We are sharing stories about acts of kindness no matter how small the gesture. We are living through unusual and sometimes distressing times, but we don’t want to lose sight of the fact that many kind acts are taking place in our region.”
Examples of good deeds can be shared on social media using the hashtag #WMKindness Residents are encouraged to be creative and can submit a short video clip made on their smart phone. Acts could range from just saying hello to a neighbour to volunteering for the NHS.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, WMCA portfolio holder for wellbeing and leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “It is uplifting to hear about all the small good deeds taking place. Good mental health and wellbeing are essential to helping us cope with the current situation.
“That is why this initiative is not only refreshing, but also important to our region because it will help to boost individuals’ resilience. By being more able to cope with any changes to our lives in a post-pandemic world, individuals will be in a better position to contribute to the economic growth of the region and social cohesion.”
Research conducted for the West Midlands Mental Health Commission shows that mental health is a significant problem in the West Midlands with one in four people suffering a mental health condition at any given time.
For more information on where to access or offer help during the current situation visit the WMCA Covid-19 support microsite: https://beta.wmca.org.uk/what-we-do/covid-19-support/