A single pound doesn’t go very far in today’s economy, but get together with some friends, and some friends of friends, and you can create a kindness co-op! That’s what Nic Perrins, of Garston, South Liverpool, believes.
Friends 500 Club launched in October last year, inspired by a similar project set up by British actor Joe Sims. Nic knew that she wasn’t the only person who wanted to make a difference, but wasn’t sure what exactly to do about it. Setting up Friends 500 Club, a kindness co-op was the answer.
With each person in the Friends 500 Club donating just £1 per week via standing order, once they reach 500 members, they will have £500 per week at their disposal for good causes.
Nic said: ‘Members of our little club keep an ear out for people, friends, neighbours, colleagues, etc – anyone who has hit on some hard times or bad luck – and can nominate them for the £500. Then, each time we do a giveaway, myself and a small group of admins, sift through the nominations and decide who gets the donation – the decision is made by majority vote. I know we can change lives with these gestures of kindness and cash. £500 might not sound like a lot nowadays, but when you need it and have no means of finding it, it’s massive.’
Members can be as involved as much or as little as they want to be, some nominating, others simply donating and seeing the results of their kindness. Invited to a private Facebook Group once you have joined the club, you can keep track of who is the latest recipient of the collective goodwill.
Nic: ‘It’s surprising what worthy causes you’ll hear about once you’re listening out for them – people in your street; local community groups; people suffering from illness or unemployment; broken families; victims of crime; people dealing with unexpected periods of bad luck; the list is endless.’
One of the first individuals helped by the scheme this year, found himself in a terrible situation: Full-time caring for a disabled partner, and recently suffering one knock-back after another, affecting his own mental health and wellbeing. Once the shock and emotion had worn off, he was so grateful for the unexpected kindness, and said the group had restored his faith in people.
The original group set up by Joe Sims, made a one-off donation earlier this year, to keep the kindness kitty topped up, and Joe himself is a now member of Friends 500 Club, offering his support and experience wherever he can.
The Friends 500 Club currently has enough members to do one giveaway every month, but they are looking for lots more people to join, in order to reach the target of one giveaway every week.
Want to join the Friends 500 Club? All you need to know is here.