Acts of Kindness: Mental Health Matters

Mental Health Matters: Spreading joy across the region

We're shining a spotlight on one of the random acts of kindness projects our young people have dreamt up and delivered recently. See how this group of teens spread joy and wellbeing throughout the region...


A group of ambitious teens from Sunderland joined forces at their local youth club to begin their Key Project and spread happiness across the region.

After learning that the North East of England is the anxiety and depression hotspot of the UK; Charlie, Hannah, Harley, Jaye, Maisie, McKenzie and Sam, aged 12 – 13, decided they wanted to do something kind for those in need.

The group got to thinking and came up with some extremely thoughtful ideas but, after much discussion and deliberation, they made the unanimous decision to create and place happiness bags around Sunderland, Newcastle, and Gateshead.

Mental Health Matters searched for information and advice as they researched items to include in their little bags of happiness. The group scoured the internet for all the items they needed and totalled them up, making sure they would all be within their £250 budget. After a lot of thinking and planning, the group was ready to head to panel with a well thought out idea and thorough plan and budget with them.

Although extremely nervous, the youngsters were amazing! The panel members were blown away by how much thought the young people had put into their project and were touched by just how many people would benefit from receiving the bags. It made giving the group the go ahead that much easier!

The young people were ecstatic with their successful Key Panel pitch and it gave them the boost they truly needed to go ahead and deliver their exceptional project.

They wasted no time and quickly hit the shops to purchase their much-needed items before beginning the long, hard slog of creating their happiness bags. The group really had to learn how to manage their time and energy and deal with stress and tension, as they faced the monumental task of creating over 500 mini bags of happiness, whilst also juggling school and homework. In the end, the seven young people used their newfound negotiation skills to persuade their friends and peers to get involved and make up some of the bags too.

Mental Health Matters made a big difference to those in the North East with their Key Project as their 500 happiness bags were spread throughout Sunderland, Newcastle, and Gateshead. The bags touched many of those lucky enough to find them and they received some great feedback… “I found a happiness bag at the airport. I have been having such a hard time at the minute and came out of work to find one. It made my day. Thank you!”

The seven young people that made up Key Group, Mental Health Matters, developed so many skills and reached so many people in need thanks to The Key Framework. We’re super excited to see what they come up with next… Watch this space!