Jenna Atkinson initially started the #Bealittlekindercampaign2020 across LinkedIn, a social media platform aimed at people in business. However, since it began, her efforts have now widened further afield. Indeed, Jenna is surprising people outside of her business network. Moreover, Jenna is aiming to get this message spread across the North West to encourage others to do the same.
How it started…
The campaign started at the beginning of 2020. Jenna came up with the idea whilst in New York, over the new year going into 2020. Every week, Jenna decided to choose a connection, and surprise them with a random act of kindness. Typically, this would be a business connection, a friend or a stranger and she would send them a message, card, small gift etc to surprise them.
Having done this every week since the start of the year, Jenna is now trying to do this every other day in light of the current pandemic. Indeed, Jenna hopes to make people’s days a bit brighter. “My Grandad used to write to my Grandma when he was in the navy. His messages were so beautiful and personal. I think these kinds of gestures, particularly at the moment can really make a difference to people’s days. My Nana and Grandma were two of my biggest inspirations growing up, and if I can be half as kind as they were to people, I will be leading a good life.”
Keeping up spirits during difficult times
In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, Jenna feels the kindness and compassion is needed more than ever. Her campaign is around making a positive difference to people’s lives through kindness. She adds, “We can often get so busy in our day-to-day lives, that we can often lose sight of what really matters. The covid-19 pandemic at the moment is making people focus on what does matter, and that health and happiness really are everything!” Kindness is something Jenna is really passionate about promoting, not only in business, but generally. Through this campaign, Jenna hopes can spread the word of more locally around Lancashire. Her aim is to keep people’s spirits up during the difficult crisis.
Examples of what Jenna has done can be found on her Linkedin page. “Someone reached out on social media. A lady told me that her mum loves to read, so I sent some books to her. They focused on hope and love stories. Afterwards, she sent me a really kind postcard. Now, I am keeping in touch with her as a ‘pen pal’ type figure. I have sent pamper hampers and messages of encouragement. Even before all this, I was trying to promote the message actively that we should all take that time in our week to be a little kinder. Kindness is one of the things that really does matter and a little act can make someone’s day or week.”
“Other examples are I have sent ‘pamper packs’ to people when they are going through a difficult time. Additionally, telling people the things I love about them. For example, on a little postcard or handwritten note. I don’t think we often have the confidence to tell people what we love about them. Rather than focus on the negativity, I wanted to bring some colour and happiness to people’s weeks. This could be by way of a surprise, complimenting people with how well they are doing, how passionate they are, how great their presentation was, or whatever it may be and give praise for that.”
Supporting Kindness in Work
In her professional life, Jenna loves working as a family solicitor at Harrison Drury. Her role is helping people through one of the most difficult times of their lives. In fact, it is why she does the job I do as she truly cares about making a difference to people. “The ethos at the firm is ‘we make it possible’. We are not only there for each other, but client care is at the heart of what all of us do. We also believe corporate social responsibility is so important. Being part of that firm helps me be the best I can be, in such a supportive working environment.”
Self-belief and Encouragement from Support Groups
Jenna is also part of other local networking groups like Pink Link Ladies and the Business Network. Both groups have a real sense of community, make you feel part of a team and lift your spirits and support each other. Finally, Jenna also love supporting local charities such as Bolton Hospice and Endeavour. From being part of Harrison Drury and the local networking/charities, Jenna has built up her self-belief through words of encouragement from others. Jenna quotes that this has been so important for her and recently, she has just found out that she is a finalist this year in the She Inspires 2020 awards for the Women in the Law category.
Returning to normality
“I have heard a lot of people lately saying they cannot wait to return to ‘normality’. My hope is that normality will change. That we will cherish all we have around us day to day, value human connection more, value everything we have and that all of us will be a little kinder.”