Why does The Kindness Collective exist?
The Kindness Collective was started in 2016 when its founder, Nate L'Estrange, first began producing pay-it-forward kindness cards and spreading them throughout the Sunshine Coast as a means of encouraging random acts of kindness and connecting strangers.
A short time after graduating from a Bachelor of Biomedical Science degree at University of the Sunshine Coast, and amidst some difficult life circumstances, Nate developed an appreciation for the important role of community and close friendships in maintaining positive mental health, while seeing the negative impact of social isolation and loneliness in contributing to various mental health issues. Realising that not everybody is fortunate to have this support, he began bringing people together through free events, including outdoor yoga classes and hiking trips, where the only payment was for participants to take a kindness card and reach out to other members in the community. The idea spread, and very quickly a host of other facilitators offered to share their own services throughout the Sunshine Coast as part of The Kindness Collective. Now, thousands of Sunshine Coast residents have attended our events, and hopefully left with the realisation of how strong this community is, and the knowledge that love and support is available to them the moment they reach out.
These days, while continuing to host a range of events, The Kindness Collective also engages regularly with schools and organisations in the local and wider region to speak about connection and mental health, and combat the rising rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide in our communities. Building a culture of openness and non-judgement, while encouraging greater empathy, kindness, and compassion, we hope to create stronger communities where everybody feels safe and supported to reach out in their moments of need.
To assist with this mission, Nate and The Kindness Collective have spent the past two years developing an idea to reach a wider audience -- a simple and fun tabletop board game called Listen Up that promotes vulnerability and empowers people to build stronger and more supportive relationships with their families, friends, and communities. Through a diverse range of both fun and deeper, more meaningful questions, the game provides a respectful space for people to share their stories, connect with others, and celebrate the variety of twists and turns that life offers. Through various workshops run by Nate, Listen Up has already been shown to be a valuable resource in mental health centres, schools, and workplaces, and will soon be introduced to a wider audience via community game nights on the Sunshine Coast and beyond. To find out more, visit listenupgame.com
For more information or to bring The Kindness Collective to your school or workplace, use the contact form below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org