A little act of kindness goes a long way - Littleport mum sets up Have A Heart campaign to promote racial tolerance
- Credit: Archant
A Littleport mum, who teaches English to eastern European students, is launching a campaign to encourage communities to stamp out racial intolerance.
Mel Fordham set up the Have A Heart campaign because she is appalled at the current wave of intolerance to people of different nationalities.
She now plans to have a box of safety pins outside her business, Levels of Learning in Churchgate Street, so people can take one to wear to show they are a safe person to talk to or walk with as part of a simple show of support, launched by the Guardian newspaper.
Mel, who also works at Ley’s stores in town, said: “This is not about politics for vote leave or remain, I’m not a political person.
“What has happened recently appears to have given people a licence to voice opinions that are xenophobic and aggressive.
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“I am a British national who last year moved back to the UK after 13 years living overseas.
“It started with a small act of personal kindness yesterday. I made a man cry with a cake. I saw him walking with his shoulders slumped, dragging his feet, head down, so without thinking, I stopped the car and hopped out.
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“He was nervous when I asked where he was from and tried to avoid the question.
“I reassured him it was okay. He was Lithuanian. I gave him a cheesecake I’d just bought and thanked him for making the UK his home.
“Told him to share it with his friends and remember that not everyone in the UK wants him gone. He had tears in his eyes.
“Such a small, spontaneous gesture, but I was overwhelmed with the impact it had on him.
“Little acts of kindness go a long way - if people can step out of their comfort zone to reach out to your neighbour, whatever their colour, whatever their creed, whatever their homeland.
“Do something, say something nice. That’s all it takes. And confront any racism you witness.
“Making a fuss is such a no-no in England but we can’t afford not to make a fuss - I simply want to urge people to stop and think and show humanity to those who live among us in our communities, many of whom are now feeling vulnerable in the light of events this week.”
“If everyone made an effort to do a small kindness for someone of a different background, it would surely make a difference. It may be naive, but I have to believe in humanity.”
• Join her Facebook group at Have A Heart
• Join her Facebook page