This week, 52 Lives made our way over the Severn Bridge for our first ever School Kindness Workshop in Wales. We were contacted by a very inspirational lady called Justine who works as a teaching assistant at Fairwater Primary School in Cardiff. Her enthusiasm for spreading kindness shone through in her email requesting a workshop.
Our Director of Kindness, Greig, was overwhelmed by the love and kindness shown by the children at this school. Greig delivered the workshop to the children in Years 1 to 5 and they were an incredible group who embraced the concept of using kindness to make an impact on those around you.
After our interactive presentation, the children were told about this week's life, a 12 year old boy from Sheffield called Thomas. Thomas’s mum got in touch with 52 Lives with a very small request - she asked if a few people would mind sending him a card for his upcoming 13th birthday. In her message, she said: "Thomas has never been invited to a party or received a birthday card from anyone except his family." She wanted to try to help him feel special, just for one day.
Thomas has autism. He lives with his mum, Leanne, and has attended a special school for around 6 years. He had been going to a mainstream school but Leanne said the children were quite mean to him and he was also excluded from birthday parties. She tried to throw him a 12th birthday party last year, but most of his current classmates don't live locally so she had to cancel it as noone as could come.
The children at Fairwater wanted to show Thomas some kindness and let him know that they believe everyone should be included - no matter what a person's situation. With his 13th birthday coming up, the children took it upon themselves to make gifts, cards and video messages for Thomas, ensuring that he knew he was loved and included. Their messages mainly consisted of offers of friendship with many of the children telling Thomas that if he was at Fairwater Primary he would be loved and accepted for the person he is. The children were told that Thomas was a big Liverpool fan so made many football-related cards bearing Liverpool's famous slogan - 'You'll never walk alone'. It was such a beautiful thing to see.
Thomas has since received his cards and he and his mum were overwhelmed by the love and support they have been shown by complete strangers.
You can see some photos of what they got up to below - as well as Thomas with all his cards!
Following on from our visit to Fairwater, we received a beautiful letter from some of the children, who has sold some hand-made origami to raise funds for 52 Lives (you can read their letter below).