Act of Kindness #29: Free chocolate, anyone?

Happy Random Act of Kindness (RAK) Day!

Today, I wanted to do something a little bit more special, while still taking into consideration the limitations of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).

And so I decided to hand out a few chocolate bars to strangers in the street!

As my budget is also very limited, I thought I’d email a few of the larger confectionary companies to see if they’d be happy to help me by donating a few bars.

Unfortunately, I still haven’t heard back from them… but I imagine they must receive lots of requests like mine.

I also asked my kind-hearted local Co-op Foods as they’ve given members of our local community – including lucky ole me!- goody bags filled with lovely things around Christmas-time.

I was thrilled when they said YES!

And I was over-the-moon when they delivered 88 bars of their yummy chocolate (and it really is yummy if you haven’t already discovered it!).


Then a big-hearted friend said she would donate £50 of her own hard-earned cash to buy chocolate bars with. And on behalf of RAK Day, I simply couldn’t refuse her kind offer.  (THANK YOU my lovely!)

And believe me when I tell you I had a LOT Of fun choosing which choccies to buy and couldn’t believe my eyes when I loaded up my trolley with 205 bars – thanks to a brilliant offer on at the supermarket!

Trolley full of chocs.jpg

This makes an incredible, grand total of 300 chocolate bars for my RAK Day giveaway.


I wanted to attach one of my kindness cards to each bar, explaining what the give-away was all about. And I’m so thankful for my lovely mum for helping me write them and then attach them to the bars.

Chocs with cards attached.jpg

We couldn’t believe it when we filled up the rucksack-on-wheels my sis lent me for the occasion. And then filled up half a carrier bag too!!

bags ful of chocs 1.jpg

This morning, I recruited the much-needed and deeply appreciated help of my lovely mum and 8 yr-old nephew Callum, and we all headed down to our city’s Old Market Square.

And they were such kindness superstars. (THANK YOU mum and Callum ♡)

Mum+Callum giving chocs.JPG

At first Callum was a little too shy to hand out any bars with us, but it wasn’t long before he joined in the fun and then really got into the spirit of it, which was really heart-warming to see.

Callum wth boy.JPG

My mum was absolutely brilliant and was happy to go into some of the city centre shops to hand out bars to the hand-working staff.

Mum+Callum in tram centre

As we stood in the Old Market Square offering bars of chocolates to passersby, some people practically ran away from us. Some people were a little suspicious at first, but then seemed happy to accept a chocolate bar once we explained what we were doing. And some people happily accepted straight away.

We got a few hugs, lots of thank yous, and oodles of big smiles.

Hooray 🙂

We were even joined by our city’s newspaper, the Nottingham Post, who’d come along to capture the choc-fest fun! Click here to see what they wrote.

With only a few bars left, we were feeling rather hungry and headed for a celebratory lunch. Then after giving all the staff a chocolate bar, we slipped into a city centre car park and popped the rest onto cars so that their owners can enjoy a sweet surprise when they return after a hard day’s shopping.

Car chocs.JPG

And now as I’m utterly wiped out after all this RAK Week fun, I’m heading to bed for a few days to recover.


But I do so with a happy heart and the hope that we’ve made a few people smile this week, and brightened up a few people’s days.


ps if you have received one of chocolate bars – thank you for visiting! I’d really LOVE to hear from you in the comments below (and if you’d prefer me not to publish your comment on the blog, please do let me know).

pps Huuuuuuge thanks again to both the big-hearted Kerry at Co-Op Foods Hucknall, and my kind-hearted friend who wishes to remain anonymous. Today wouldn’t have been possible without your kind donations ♡

ppps please forgive any mistakes as I’m super-duper tired whilst writing this, but I wanted to post before I zonk out! Night, night!!

Day 84: BBC Radio Nottingham

Being kind by handing out chocolate bars, face-to-face:

I did something new today: I handed out chocolate bars to strangers.



And it felt really good.

My confidence is obviously growing! OK, it helped that I wasn’t alone. My lovely mum was with me, and also the lovely Sarah Julian a presenter from BBC Radio Nottingham.

I’d been invited into the studio to talk about my kindness acts in a pre-recorded interview, and then go out to perform some kindness acts with the presenter.

I was pretty nervous going into the studio, but focused on my mission: to spread the kindness message. Sarah and I had a great chat, and although it was really cringey to hear myself on the radio the next day, I’m happy that I didn’t make a complete fool of myself (well, I hope I didn’t anyway!).

And it was so much fun going out with Sarah to do the kindness acts.

We drove to the nearby retail park, which houses one of my fave shops: Hobbycraft – I asked mum and Sarah to keep in me out of there, by force if necessary!

My mission was to hand out some chocolate bars to busy shoppers, each with one of my kindness cards attached with the message: You are AMAZING. If you forget that, please read this again.

you are AMAZING

After I’d approached the unsuspecting shoppers, Sarah asked them a few questions about the experience. A couple of people ran away – Sarah kindly pointing out it was probably due to the big fluffy microphone she was holding – most were surprised, and everyone smiled.


It was brilliant to see Sarah join in and hand out a couple of choccie bars too. And as we drove away in high spirits, I was happy to hear she’d had fun too. I can honestly say that from my experience, the giver benefits as much as the receiver.

Exhausted but happy, I got back home to find this lovely message on my blog:

“My partner and I met you today whilst you were with BBC Radio Nottingham at the retail park. We love what you’re doing and think you’re a fantastic lady!!! We bought you a little gift as a thank you for making us smile, when we came out of the shop you were gone! Is there any way we can get it to you? Xxx”


This is what it’s all about: making someone smile.

I am so touched that this lovely couple made the effort to get in touch. And that they were kind enough to want to pay it forward is the icing on the cake, with the cherry on top!

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by handing out bars of chocolate, face-to-face!

ps if you fancy a listen….

Here’s the studio interview with BBC Radio Nottingham:

Here’s the outside broadcast by BBC Radio Nottingham:

Day 15: Bliss Balls

Being mindful in the kitchen making my raw chocolate treats:

It’s been a long time since I’ve made any raw treats. My last batch ran out a few weeks ago, and I’ve been dipping into the biscuit tin and chocolate box way too much.

Not good.

I need to replenish my treat stash quickly in order to have them on hand for when I have a sweet craving.

It’s time to say Bye Bye biscuit tin and beloved Galaxy Minstrels, and Hello Helen’s Raw Chocolate Bliss Balls.

Bliss Balls were actually my first step into the wonderful world of home-made raw treats. After realising that sugar was not my friend, I’ve been making variations of these for a few years now to satisfy my sweet tooth. And it works. And they’re delicious. And nutritious.

How fabulous is that!

My fave recipe combines mixed nuts and seeds, raw cacao, vanilla powder, cinnamon, chia seeds, super-greens powder, dates, and rice syrup, with coconut oil for binding, and desiccated coconut for rolling in.

Did I mention they are absolutely yummy?

I enjoy spreading the no-sugar love too by making them for dinner parties, and giving as gifts for friends and family. I’m often asked for the recipe which is brilliant; changing the world one bliss ball at a time!

Variety is always welcome so today I wanted to make two flavours. I decided to try out a new recipe I’ve found for Sesame Power Balls. With tahini, ground almonds, almond butter, coconut, seeds, vanilla powder and rice syrup, it sounded like a recipe made in raw food heaven. And it was.

Heavenly yummy indeed.

I wanted to practice mindfulness as I made my treats. So I focused on being present, mindful and aware, as opposed to stressed, distracted and overwhelmed.

I stayed alert to my senses: the texture and smell of my yummy ingredients; watching how they bind together in my food processor; taste testing for sweetness; and the feel of rolling the mixture into balls in the palm of my hand.

I was also mindful of my breath, keeping it slow and steady throughout. And if my mind wandered off, I gently invited it back to the task at hand.

Now I have 20 little balls of deliciousness packed away in the freezer to enjoy over the next few weeks. I usually find that one is enough to satisfy my sweet tooth, although I have been known to sneak another one or two. But they’re actually quite filling and one is usually enough. Honest.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being mindful in the kitchen when making my raw chocolate treats.

Day 3: Choc full of kindness

Being kind by leaving chocolate bars for strangers to find:

I’ve wanted to be part of the kindness movement ever since reading Danny Wallace’s brilliantly funny ‘Join Me’ book. With so many kindness organisations such as the Wake Up Project and the Random Acts of Kindness foundation encouraging people to spread happiness by being kind, I feel it’s time I did something about it.

I love the idea of Kindness Cards, which involve doing a kindness act anonymously and leaving a kindness card. While this is enough in itself, it may hopefully encourage others to do an act of kindness, creating a ripple effect.

The Sydney-based Wake Up Project offer a handful of gorgeous Kindness Cards, but understandably don’t post internationally. So I decided to try and make my own.

While in the midst of doing a pretty embarrassing botch job on my macbook (technology is not my forte), I received an email from Vista Print offering me 100 business cards for free. Perfect timing I thought. So I decided to make use of this gift of generosity and make my own kindness cards.

With a limited choice of design, well they are free after all, my Kindness Cards arrived a few days ago. Following the Wake Up Project’s example, my cards simply read:

Kindness Cards

Kindness Card
You’ve just been touched by a random act of kindness
Now it’s your chance to do something kind and pass this card along

As my circumstances are limited – both health wise and financially – I need to get creative with what I can do. I’m sure I’ll be writing about my kindness acts as I go along.

Keen to start today, I bought a couple of chocolate bars, stapled a Kindness Card onto each wrapper, and wrote: ‘Please enjoy! 😊’ on the back to hopefully entice the finder to take it and enjoy it, and not be suspicious of it!

I excitedly left my first act of kindness on the shelf at the library, hoping a bookworm browsing the shelves will stumble upon my choccie gift and enjoy it. The second I left on the bus, for the next passenger to enjoy.

Numerous research has shown how doing an act of kindness for somebody also has an incredible effect on the giver as well as the receiver. And it’s true. I feel happy and uplifted that my kindness acts have hopefully made two people smile today – and the thought that they may even feel inspired to ‘pass it on’ is the icing on the cake.

So with that in mind, my happy for today to being kind by leaving chocolate bars for strangers to find.