Having pocket money when you are a youngster is a reason to visit the local sweet shop or put towards buying clothes or the latest gadget – however these Heathfield teenagers had something quite different in mind.
Izzy Withers and Maddie Clark – who both go to Heathfield Community College – decided to spend their funds on flowers to hand out to members of the public in the town.
They also bought card and pencilled 40 positive messages to hand out and ‘brighten people’s lives up’.
Despite the pouring rain on Friday (October 18), the pair spent two hours handing out the roses and messages. They now hope to inspire others to do a random act – or two – of kindness.
“It was a rainy day and we wanted to put a smile on people’s faces – it had been horrible weather all week,” said Izzy, 13.
“We got some card and cut it into 40 pieces and wrote positive messages on them, such as ‘you are worthy’ – we made the messages up ourselves.
“It was Mental Health Awareness Week the week before and our school is quite big on mental health.
“We wanted to show people that they are not alone and that if they are going through something they will get through it and there are people thinking about them.”
Maddie, also 13, said people were surprised by the pair’s kind gesture.
“Our generation can be looked at badly sometimes and we wanted to show that we are not all horrible,” she said.
“People were so thankful. We gave a woman with a broken leg on crutches a message that said ‘stay strong’ – it was a complete coincidence!
“We also gave a message to a Co-op employee that said ‘thank you’ and she came over and gave us a big hug.
“We felt so happy afterwards – we felt like we made a hundred new friends in two hours!
“When you do something for other people and see the impact, it makes you feel so happy. And just checking on someone doesn’t take much.”
When the Year 9 students returned home they said they were shocked to discover people had posted on Facebook talking about them.
Izzy said: “We decided to make a post in response and to inspire others to do random acts of kindness.
“The post has since got over 500 likes and loads of comments. We feel overwhelmed and shocked – we weren’t expecting it!”
Portia Withers, Izzy’s mum, said she was surprised when the pair asked if she could drop them into town to do the kind gesture.
“It was quite a surprise to be honest because it was chucking it down with rain,” she said.
“They came downstairs and asked me if I could take them into town. They said ‘we want to brighten some people’s lives up’.
“They said they had spent two hours writing these bits of paper with positive messages and they wanted to hand them out to people and hide them in the town.”
She continued: “We are just really proud of them – the fact that they did it off their own backs. And all the things they could spend their pocket money on – and they chose to do this.
“I think it is a really nice, positive thing to do because there is so much rubbish going on, such as the weather and Brexit, and it was completely from their hearts. And they loved it! They came back as high as kites. They just wanted to put a smile on people’s faces after a rotten week!”