KINDNESS costs nothing but it can make all the difference.

That is the ethos behind a new campaign launched across Essex to encourage small acts of kindness among residents.

The campaign, named United in Kind, was launched this week.

It aims to tackle social isolation and loneliness at a community level, focusing on what is sees as high risk groups.

This will be delivered through employed United in Kind coaches and locally recruited volunteers.

Tendring’s United in Kind coach is Suzanne Howe, from Ramsey.

Suzanne said: “I will be raising awareness, supporting existing groups and clubs to be as inclusive and accessible as possible and where there isn’t anything locally, facilitate new activities or groups.”

There are nine coaches across Essex who will also be recruiting volunteers to champion, facilitate and mobilise others to create a network of support and activity.

They are employed by Rural Community Council of Essex and WECAN.

As part of her coaching role Suzanne has set up a couple of kindness cafes where businesses like Buttercakes and Sweets, in Dovercourt, were transformed for the day to promote awareness of the campaign.

She said: “I shall also be carrying out some of my own acts of kindness too.

“I am volunteering with Harwich Foodbank on October 1.”

Figures from United in Kind have revealed lonely people are more likely to suffer from a mental health disorder and 85 per cent of young disabled people feel lonely.

This is why Suzanne is now looking for any groups which would like to hear more about the campaign and work together with their communities.

She said: “I am also interested in any groups that would welcome me to visit and volunteer for them to learn about what they do and share the United in Kind message, along with other service providers in Tendring where our roles will complement one another.

“I also have pages on Facebook and Twitter, as do the Essex team as a whole, where lots of information can be found.

“If anyone would like further information, would like me to go along to their group to give a presentation, has an idea of something they would like to introduce in their community or is looking for volunteer opportunities in their area then I would love to hear from them.”

On October 16 Suzanne is hosting a kindness networking event to celebrate volunteers and the work they do.

Suzanne is also looking to trail Acts of Kindness awards for October with a view to make it an ongoing scheme.

She is looking for businesses to sponsor small prizes for both a youth and adult category.

“I am asking for individuals to email me with acts of kindness they have received or that someone they know has carried out,” she added.

“A winner and runner up will be selected from each category.”

Suzanne will also be at Morrison’s supermarket, in Parkeston, on October 21 between 3pm and 5pm where people can get more information about the awards.

An Essex County Council spokesman said in a world where people seem better connected than ever through technology, it would be easy to assume it’s impossible to feel alone.

However, he said: “For one in four people in Essex, feelings of loneliness and isolation are unfortunately a reality.

“That’s why we’re supporting United in Kind, a new social movement aiming to combat loneliness by spreading kindness and helping people to connect with their community.

“Small interactions and little acts of kindness can make a huge difference for people experiencing social isolation and can help to improve resilience more generally in communities, where people feel disconnected or removed from society.

“We know that Essex already has a thriving network of charities, community and voluntary organisations and hundreds of volunteers who are ideally placed to connect people and activities.

“We hope to build on this and existing initiatives to tackle loneliness and help to build stronger, friendlier and more inclusive communities.”

To find out more about Unit in Kind, visit or go to to make contact.