Selfless woman’s festive toys spread joy to strangers

If you’ve ever experienced a random act of kindness, you’ll know how much joy it can bring. A smile you didn’t expect in your day; the feeling of contentment.

This is something 41-year-old Leanne Robinson hoped to achieve – while also fundraising for a mental health charity – when she started sharing the joy of festive crochet.

Leanne was inspired to do this after finding a package hung in a tree of a pink doughnut keyring in Anglesey. “They’d put a note in the bag that they’d made it as a random act of kindness and they wanted to brighten somebody’s day,” she tells Smiley News.

“Well it worked, I love it and it really did make me smile. I keep it on my bag I use regularly and it’s a constant reminder that somebody made it just to do something nice for somebody they didn’t know.”

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She thought it was a great idea, but had never learned to crochet – “my nan tried to teach me,” she says, “but I never progressed beyond a chain” – so she decided to teach herself and make her own crochet toys to leave for strangers. “I’ve got a lot to learn but I’m getting better,” she says. 

Leanne did the same and has been sharing her festive crochet kindness keyrings – most recently, in Center Parcs Elveden. 

“In with the crochet keyring I’ve included a note linking to my JustGiving blog where I’ve explained more about why I’ve done them,” explains Leanne. 

“I just want to make a small difference to somebody’s day. I have no expectations that anybody will make a donation after finding a keyring, but if they do then that’s amazing as it also then helps the charity that I’ve chosen for fundraising next year. This year I raised £1,700 for Mind. Next year I’m hoping to get to £2,000.”

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“I see the two as being connected,” adds Leanne. “You never know who is struggling with their mental health and I know how much difference a kind gesture can make when you’re struggling.”

Mind is Leanne’s chosen charity as she found their resources invaluable when she was struggling with her own mental heath, before she was diagnosed with a form of Bipolar Disorder called Cyclothymia. “Since opening up more, others have opened up to me and it made me realise just how many people are struggling,” she says. 

“I know I can’t help everyone, but I can do something to help people get support and this is my way of doing it.”

You can donate to Mind through Leanne’s JustGiving page.