Allied Vehicles Communication Health & Wellbeing News Scotland

Christmas Boost For Charity Targeting Youngsters’ Mental Health

A woman who set up a suicide prevention charity distributing “kindness boxes” after her daughter took her own life is planning to expand the initiative after a four-figure donation from Allied Vehicles Charitable Trust.

Jaque Smith, who lives in Blanefield, north of Glasgow, set up LoveLeigh in 2013, a year after she lost her daughter – who was only 22 – to raise awareness of mental health problems amongst younger people.
She urges people to carry out “random acts of kindness” and post them on social media under the hashtags #loveleigh and #followtheredballoon.

Amongst the items in the kindness boxes are a letter explaining the charity’s purpose and how people can get involved, a card suggesting some acts of kindness, along with Post-It notes, LoveLeigh cards, fundraising suggestions and a red balloon – Leigh’s favourite.

The boxes cost around £5 each to put together and post out to anyone who wants them, and the £1,250 donation from will go towards that task, as Jaque anticipates a festive rush.

She said: “That’s so lovely and it’s quite interesting as I’ve had a bit of an influx of people – I don’t know if it’s the runup to Christmas.  It will all go to help towards that. We try and give them out to everybody for nothing, so people don’t have to worry about paying for them. That would provide so many and help us push them out as well.”

“We’re hugely grateful to whoever it was that nominated us and if you could please pass on our thanks – it’s just lovely that somebody’s done that.”

With Christmas approaching, Jaque said it appeared to be a combination of the time of year – which can be emotional for some – that keeps her busy.  “There was somebody ordered 40 boxes last year to give out as Christmas presents. It’s quite time consuming to make them up and send them out as it’s only me in the charity, so I’m juggling a full-time job and trying to do this at the same time, and I don’t get enough time to promote it.”

“It’s quite tricky – I’m in a sort of limbo if I generate more work to do, and I don’t really want to let anybody down. I try to balance it as much as I can, but I’m working out a better way of actually getting the packs together and the stuff that goes in them so that’s a bit easier to do.”

Jaque added that one woman from England had told her the colour of the card from the Kindness Box had saved her life.  “It had come through her letterbox, and she was all set to take her own life that morning. It was quite hard to read, but she said, ‘I’d had enough, I just couldn’t think of any connection to be here, and it was really dark. And I just saw it fall through the letterbox and I thought that’s quite unusual’.

“It’s quite a bright card and she read it and it was actually from one of her neighbours, a handwritten note to say, ‘I haven’t seen you in a while and I just want to tell you I love you and I miss you’. She said it was like being hauled back into reality and went and got help. And you just think ‘that’s cards that cost maybe point one of a penny?’ But it was the time somebody took to write on it and tell someone – it just shows you that the smallest action can make a huge difference for someone.”

Neil Donohoe, Allied Mobility Regional Sales Manager, who nominated the charity, said: “I nominated LoveLeigh because in memory of her daughter Leigh, Jacque set up an amazing charity which encourages acts of kindness.”

“Particularly at this time of year coming up to Christmas when many people may be struggling, these acts of kindness could make a huge difference to their lives”

Allied’s Corporate Culture Director, David Facenna, added “We all know how important support with mental health is, especially at this time of year. The work of LoveLeigh is amazing and such a great idea. The Charitable Trust was delighted to support such an incredible cause.”


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