Festivities and Kindness

It’s been a bit of a week. Two firsts for me, I had the paramedics out in the middle of Asda, and I left Father Christmas hanging. Not both at the same time I might add.

There are days that go by smoothly and you forget you have a disability. Well not really forget, but you get on with it, it’s your norm. Then there are days when you feel like you can’t breathe and the paramedics are called out to you in the middle of the supermarket. Those aren’t the fun days.

I have to say how amazing the emergency service were though. It’s all a bit of a blur but three lovely paramedic guys rescued and reassured me in a side room in Asda. I say a room, it was more like a cupboard. The cupboard also used to hold shoplifters and those causing trouble. I was causing quite a stir myself I guess.

I’m ok now, in case you’re wondering. I’m home, I don’t know what caused the chest pain, or the shortness of breath. I was taken to A&E, where I was poked, prodded and scanned. Asked a million questions, by multiple people, and sent home with antibiotics.

Every person treating me was lovely and kind.

Anyway so I have a lot of things and people to be grateful for, we all do really. Which brings me on to one of my aims I wrote about at the start of the year. Do a good deed.

I wanted to do something to help somebody, in a more meaningful way than just donating money. I wanted it to be closer to home than that, something that related to me. Sort of.

I’ve been Christmas shopping a fair bit lately. Actually I have to confess, I’m almost finished the Christmas shop and it’s not even December. Go me! But then if you know me, that’s no surprise. I like to be organised.

Some of my shopping was done online, as with many of you I guess. But for some of it I tackled the streets of Norwich.

Something I’ve noticed more and more recently is the amount of people sleeping rough. Particularly around Norwich, but anywhere I’ve visited really. For whatever reason there seem to be more people finding themselves with nowhere to live, and not enough services to support them.

I’ve been following a Page on Facebook for a while. The Peoples Picnic.

A 100% non-profit, grass-roots movement, The Peoples Picnic rely on donations and the kindness of community to support those less fortunate. Providing home cooked meals and essential everyday items to those in need, directly from the street in the city centre of Norwich.

I decided it was my time to help, and these are people I would like to help.

On The Peoples Picnic Facebook Page there is information about how you can get involved or offer help.

You can also get in touch via Twitter.

Twice weekly there is food served from Norwich Haymarket. As much as I’d love to help out I’m not much good at serving out food to other people, I struggle to physically feed myself!

There is also a link to PayPal where you can donate money. This is great, donations are always needed. I wanted to do something a little more personal though, I wanted to know where I was helping.

So I decided to purchase some items from their Amazon wish list. I think this is a fab idea to gain support and to also make the donator feel like they are doing something important. They can, in a way, see where their money is going.

It was super easy to do. I scrolled through the wish list of items The Peoples Picnic currently require and added the ones I wanted to my basket. There are a wide range of items for every budget. I chose to purchase a rucksack and sleeping bag. Going through the checkout process you can select for the item to be delivered directly to The Peoples Picnic. Easy as that.

Currently The Peoples Picnic are also asking for sock gifts filled with treats and essentials. Information can be found on the poster below, please get in touch with them for drop off points and delivery addresses.

A poster explaining how to fill a sock. Fill one sock with essential items for example, toothpaste toothpaste, chocolates, gloves, pants, roll on deodorant. Place the spare sock inside too. Tie up with a colour depending on intended gender.

If everyone of my readers gave just £1 that would be £417. If I combined those that follow the blog, and all social media (assuming some of you follow on multiple platforms) I reckon a £1 from each of you could total near on £1000! That could feed a lot of people. If some of you donated money, some made a sock gift, and some bought something from the Amazon wish list, then imagine how much that could help people, change their day. Especially this time of year. It’s cold out. Plus we are spending way more than that on glittery plastic. Fact.

Keep kind.

Oh and when you can’t move your arm enough to high five Father Christmas and leave him hanging, he looks as awkward as you feel.

An image to pin. The title is placed over a blurred photo taken on Christmas decorations in a garden centre.

32 thoughts on “Festivities and Kindness”

  1. Great ideas, I always donate to our Salvation Army who in turn assist so many people from refugees to battered spouses. The last few years my daughter and I have made up little toiletry bags full of essentials for the mental health wards at the local hospital. Anything can help 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gemma Orton you are a fabulous woman it is the most wonderful gesture and I am proud, . damned proud to know you. Even if it is only virtually. I rooted through my drawers about a month ago, pulled out a rucksack I haven’t used in a while and folded a small polarfleece blanket (like they lend on aeroplanes) added sanitary tampons, talc, a small tin of vasaline, a pair of gloves, pants, socks and waterproof trousers and a packa mac. I put a small note book and pen in and a torch. I wrote a Christmas card and added a bag of chuppa lollies. I have been travelling around between Bury st Edmunds and Newmarket looking for a female to give it to. I must be looking in the wrong places and now I wonder if I should re think. But some unfortunate female must be somewhere where I can hand it over. My willingness to help is high and I am told there are women in the area but hopefully not desperste for my bag. 😢

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the small gestures that make a difference. It’s so easy to do something to help, kindness is crucial. I hope your rucksack goes to someone that needs it, but then I also hope nobody does need it. It’s a great thing for you to do.


      1. I have been unable to find someone, for weeks I have driven around looking; but desperately hoping that such a woman does not exist. 😢 so this morning I am taking it to the Quaker house in Bury St Edmunds in hope that they will give it to a needy female.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I’m sure that added a bit of drama to your otherwise probably quite boring supermarket shopping! I’m glad that you’re okay now, and that everyone treating you was kind as that does make such a big difference sometimes.

    The Peoples Picnic sounds like a great initiative. I donate to our local charity for homelessness, and having worked partly in that sector before I can say the help is definitely needed. Even when tight on money, it’s good to have the option to donate other things so you can still do something to help.

    Please do take care and be as well as possible with no more scary paramedic call outs required!  ♥
    Caz xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does make a massive difference being treated my kind people.

      Yes, a great initiative indeed, and it feels good to be able to help people and know where that help is going.

      Here’s to a good month health wise for both of us!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely idea, Gemma and it’s good to know that you are feeling better…I used to do the Chocolate run when I lived in the Uk and we did a sock at Christmas I do love the idea of buying from their list that is a really great idea I hope it is an idea which gets adopted by other organisations:) x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so happy you are OK and blogging again. And the People’s Picnic nearly got a bottle of Schnapps as well as a wishlist item, thanks to me forgetting what I had saved in my Amazon basket. It was for a cocktail recipe idea, not a regular purchase, ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, you do make me chuckle! Cocktails are top of my wish list, though I’m not sure The People’s Picnic would benefit.
      I’m almost ok and can’t resist blogging for long!
      Thanks for helping The People’s Picnic.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh Gemma I am so glad to hear your ok. How scary! I love the idea of this, and will definitely be looking into it. I have helped to feed the homeless on Christmas day a couple of times, and it breaks your heart to hear the stories. great post xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Another beautiful post Gemma. Sadly it is on the increase and a cause I am passionate about myself.

    Glad you’re ok too. Nice to be the centre of attention every once in a while 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s something I have noticed more and more recently, there is just not enough and not the right kind of support for some people.
      If this organisation can just supply hot food and essentials then at least that’s a start.


  8. Brilliant concept and something that many families could do instead of over giving gifts. I hope The Peoples Picnic keeps going and reaching more people in need.

    Liked by 1 person

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