ELIZABETH O’KEEFFE and AMY SOLOMONS from Girlguiding West Yorkshire write about the Pots of Kindness initiative taking place in Bradford.

Girlguiding units across the Bradford district have been taking part in a pots of kindness to spread positivity, engage with their local community and encourage more young members and volunteers to join local groups.

The initial idea for the project started back in March when local volunteers from Girlguiding West Yorkshire North county’s PR team came together to discuss ideas for the summer term.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Brownies and leaders at Coronation event in Burley-in-WharfedaleBrownies and leaders at Coronation event in Burley-in-Wharfedale (Image: Amy Solomons)

We decided to create the initiative so that Girlguiding units could spread joy and engage with their local communities by leaving pots of flowers on people’s doorsteps.

The summer term seemed like the ideal opportunity to get the project off the ground, with the nicer weather meaning units often venture outside of their meeting place for outdoor activities and adventures.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Wyke Rainbows with their Pots of Kindness Wyke Rainbows with their Pots of Kindness (Image: Amy Solomons)

The project links with the promise which young members and volunteers can make when they join Girlguiding.

The King’s Coronation provided the perfect backdrop for units to honour the promise we make ‘to serve the King and the community’ by taking part in activities to celebrate the King’s love of the natural world.

The activity was part of The Big Help Out, a national initiative as part of Coronation celebrations to encourage more people to make a difference in their communities.

The project also linked to Mental Health Awareness Week - with the pots of kindness serving as a reminder that small gestures can make a big difference to someone’s day.

Lots of units decided to take part and have been delivering pots of kindness since the start of May.

By the end of July, we will have delivered approximately 2,500 plants left on doorsteps across Baildon, Bradford, Bingley, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Keighley and Shipley.

Each plant included a message which read:

‘Here’s a little flower with greetings from us to you;

It will keep your smiling all summer through.

It will need a little water and the right amount of sun.

We hope you will accept it and see a good turn done!

From West Yorkshire North Girlguiding.’

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Ava of 94th Bradford Guides delivering flowers around UndercliffeAva of 94th Bradford Guides delivering flowers around Undercliffe (Image: Amy Solomons)

Some units also added positive messages onto the plant pots such as “There is a rainbow after every storm” to tie into Mental Health Awareness Week. The different units really enjoyed spreading cheer around the community.

The feedback from girls in units has been lovely and they have enjoyed engaging with the local community.

Alice from 113th Bradford thought the plants were “a great way to show people how they could get involved in Guides”.

A Rainbow from 107th Thackley said: “It was the best night at Rainbows because we turned frowns upside down when they (people they’d presented with flowers) realised they could keep the flowers.”

And a member of 107th Thackley Guides said: “I feel like a secret smile giver”.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A happy Brownie with her 'pot of positivity'A happy Brownie with her 'pot of positivity' (Image: Amy Solomons)

The response from the community has been overwhelming! We have received countless messages of ‘thank you’ via local community Facebook groups and our own social media channels.

It has been wonderful to see units out in the community spreading positivity and joy!

If you have received a plant, then please get in touch with us so that we can see how far our pots of kindness have reached!

Girlguiding helps all girls know they can do anything through adventure, friendship, fun, learning and new opportunities.

Although some of our units are full, we are always looking to welcome new girls to Rainbows (aged four to seven), Brownies (seven to 10), Guides (10 to 14) and Rangers (14 to 18).

We would also love to welcome more volunteers (male or female) to our units so that we can continue to provide opportunities for a safe, girl-led space for young people across the Bradford district.

No matter how much time you have to give, there’s an opportunity for you.

There are a range of flexible volunteering opportunities to suit your needs and to offer you friendship, fun, adventure and new challenges.

* Get in touch to get involved today: Join Us! Visit girlguiding.org.uk

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to see what local units are doing in your area: @wynguiding