Dawn French recently lent her vocal talents in a housing association video to promote kindness in its communities. LiveWest partnered with the Vicar of Dibley star, who narrated an animated heart-warming “day in the life” story of local resident.
The animation starts with Lola, a young LiveWest resident, who watches members of her community carry out small acts of kindness throughout the day. The video was created to show how even small acts of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s life and create a chain reaction of positivity.
The idea first came about after Live West’s digital communications and supporting housing teams joined to collaborate on exploring how they can create new resources to demonstrate what it means to be a “good neigbour.” Frontline teams came up with common themes they encountered daily, highlighting how simple acts of kindness can contribute to an overall better community environment. The visual story was created, and Dawn offered her talents by providing voice-over to promote better the impact that acts of kindness can have on others and the greater community.
Oli Price-Bates, digital design and content manager for LiveWest, said:
“Rather than telling our customers what not to do, we wanted to take a positive and more engaging approach to a challenging topic. We knew the issues our frontline colleagues told us about had to be at the heart of the story.
“And in our animation, we highlight how good behaviour can have a positive effect on individuals and how it could stop some of these issues happening. We also wanted to show how the impact of small acts of kindness can cause a positive chain reaction leading to many more.
“Once we had created the animation, we thought it would really take it to the next level by including a local, but well-known voice that would engage the listener from the start. We reached out to Dawn French, who was happy to get involved and was very complimentary of this piece of work.
“Her voice really illuminated the concept of kindness and her reassuring and uplifting tone took the creation to new heights. To have a TV star like Dawn French helping us out in this way was fantastic and we are very thankful to have a household name supporting LiveWest in our pursuit of creating cohesive and positive communities.”
The animation is just one of several initiatives LiveWest is putting in place to promote kindness across their communities in the South West. The housing provider launched its kindness competition to celebrate those ordinary folks who engaged in acts of kindness to help others. The completion sought three stand-out people whose hard work and dedication made someone’s situation a little better, bringing a smile to an otherwise troubled face.
James Mason, one of the winners, donated a kidney to a total stranger after hearing about their story on the local news in which they asked for volunteers to come forward. The Barnstaple-based engineer decided to make the selfless choice to help a woman in her late teens and was able to meet with her family months after the successful transplant.
“At the time, I didn’t have any idea who it was but about three months later I got a letter from her mum. I’ve since been in touch, and I visited her family to see the impact and the changes it’s had on her life, and it is just incredible. It’s been really nice to actually get to find out how things went.
“All I had to do was go into an operating theatre and then rest for a few weeks and now my life is completely normal – it’s had no impact. Apart from a very small scar to remind me.”
Jacob Widdison, another winner, who lives in Truro in a support housing scheme, helped a terminally ill resident who had fallen during the early hours of the morning. Jacob said:
“I wanted to step in because I could hear him talking from the window and so I wanted to make sure he wasn’t hurt, and everything was alright. When I got outside, I could see him lying in the road, so I helped to pick him back up.”
Although the older man was unwell and sick with COVID, Jacob put on a mask and some gloves to carry him up to his flat, where they waited for an ambulance. He even made sure the older man was comfortable as they waited for help.
You can watch the LiveWest Kindness Campaign video featuring Dawn French below.
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