Team GB has joined up with its official charity partner British Red Cross to celebrate kindness during Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from 18-24 May.
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, the official theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘kindness’.
‘Kindness is What Makes Us’ features a host of Team GB athletes from nine summer and winter sports reciting an emotive poem, highlighting the importance of kindness to ourselves and others to support our mental health, especially within the current climate.
The athletes, who between them amass 12 Olympic medals, include: Gabby Adcock (badminton), Becky Downie (gymnastics), Cheavon Clarke (boxing), Liam Heath (canoeing), Tom Mitchell (rugby sevens), Lutalo Muhammad (taekwondo), Helen Richardson-Walsh MBE (hockey), Vicky Thornely (rowing), Beth Tweddle MBE (gymnastics) and Lizzy Yarnold (skeleton).
Presented alongside the Olympians is a series of images that illustrate people within their communities supporting the British Red Cross during the coronavirus outbreak through simple acts of kindness. Through their ‘Kindness Will Keep Us Together’ campaign, people all over the country are stepping forward to help others in their hour of need, and the power of kindness has never been more relevant.
The British Red Cross has set up a free coronavirus support line for people who are staying home and finding it difficult to access food and medication, or feeling lonely or worried, during these uncertain times.
Kindness is What Makes Us is a build on Team GB’s overarching marketing campaign for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, ‘This is What Makes Us’.
The campaign is designed to bring the nation together and celebrates stories of overcoming the odds, courage, diversity and success that belong to the athletes who will represent Team GB next summer after it was recently announced that the Games would be postponed to 23 July – 8 August 2021 due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Sarah Davidson, Head of Psychosocial and Mental Health, British Red Cross, said
: “As lockdown continues, we know that some people are finding it challenging. Everyone needs a listening ear and someone to talk to at one stage or another. We want the public to know that if they need to talk, we’re here to listen.
“For 150 years, the British Red Cross has helped the nation through its darkest days and coronavirus is no exception. We are focussed on supporting the most vulnerable people through this crisis and if you’re feeling lonely or worried, or staying home and finding it difficult to access food or medication, we can provide support. Because whilst this virus may keep us apart, kindness will keep us together.”
Olympic medallist, Beth Tweddle MBE, added:
“Mental health awareness is such an important topic, not just from the point of view of being a professional athlete, but for every single one of us.
“During these times of uncertainty we must recognise the unique challenges that everyone is facing, and small acts of kindness can go a long way. Whether it be checking in with your teammates, your coach, friends or family, it costs nothing to be kind, so let’s make sure we’re all doing our bit to look out for each other.”
If you or someone you know needs help, call the free Red Cross coronavirus support line on 0808 196 3651 to speak to a friendly British Red Cross volunteer. For more information visit RedCross.org.uk