Do Good in Brentwood: ‘Time is often the most valuable thing you can give to somebody’

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 January 2019

Do Good in Brentwood logo.

Do Good in Brentwood logo.

Villene Hyam

Enjoy Brentwood More’s monthly writer and Do Good in Brentwood campaigner Villene Hyam talks about what she hopes to do more of in 2019.

Sign outside Dogs Trust in High Street, Brentwood. Picture: Villene HyamSign outside Dogs Trust in High Street, Brentwood. Picture: Villene Hyam

Happy New Year everybody! Christmas is over and it’s time to start making (and maybe breaking) some resolutions.

What are you aiming for this year? Less chocolate, more exercise? More positivity, less worry? Or how about a dose of kindness?

There are lots of things you can do locally to spread some kindness in 2019.

Volunteering somewhere is just one. I spotted a sign outside the Dogs Trust in the High Street recently which made me think.

Independent businesses in the town centre. Picture: Villene HyamIndependent businesses in the town centre. Picture: Villene Hyam

It said that by the time I had read the sign, I could have completed the volunteer form.

Sometimes actually getting yourself motivated to make a volunteering commitment is the hardest thing and, let’s not forget, time is often the most valuable thing you can give to somebody.

So, what kinds of things do you want to get involved in this year and what would make it easier for you?

This year, I am going to try and feature a community group or volunteering opportunity each month here in my Enjoy Brentwood More column.

Picture: Villene HyamPicture: Villene Hyam

If there is something you would like to know more about, or if you’re part of a group you think I should feature, do get in touch.

I always recycle as much as I can, which includes things that don’t get collected kerbside.

This weekend we took all of the old printer toners we’ve been collecting over the last few months and all the batteries we’ve accumulated and recycled them at Sainsburys.

We also posted back to BT (for free) some old broadband equipment for recycling.

Sadly, it doesn’t look like either Marks & Spencer or Sainsburys are doing Christmas card recycling this year, so these will have to go in the regular recycling.

Or, you can make them into gift tags for next year! Just make sure you take off any ribbons or unrecyclable adornments before they are recycled.

Unfortunately, that also includes glitter. You’ll have to tear off any bits of glitter-covered card before sticking them in the orange sacks.

We received but didn’t send any Christmas cards this year. Instead, we saved on stamps and donated to some charities nominated by Do Good In Brentwood followers - Action Duchenne, Crisis, Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, Remus Horse

Sanctuary, Saint Francis Hospice, and SNAP. Thank you to everyone who made suggestions.

If you follow the campaign on social media you may have seen some happy dances on the feed recently (and possibly wondered what on earth they were all about!) Wherever possible, I made the effort to shop local and independent for gifts this Christmas.

True to one of my favourite quotes about how small business owners do a little “happy dance” when they sell something, I managed to capture some happy dances from the people who served me.

I did get some strange looks but everyone told me how much they appreciated local customers.

If you’re a small business and you’d like me to share your happy dance, send it to me via Facebook or Instagram and I’ll add it to the feed.

You’ll be joining the Chicken & Frog Bookshop, French Quarter, The Olive Branch and Piccola who did some groovy happy dances for me when I was shopping in December!

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