1,000 angels initiative spurs people on to earn their wings

17 December 2019.

Christmas came early for a group of Coventry crafters when they started making angels in September. Little did they know that 129 crafters in total would join in and together they’d smash their target of 1,000 hand-made angels by over 400!

Grapevine’s initiative set out to tap into people’s shared love of crafting, combining this with a festive-themed goal of creating individual angels that would be handed out with suggestions for random acts of kindness that don’t cost a penny. Starting a conversation with the person sat next to you on the bus or inviting a neighbour in for a cup of tea being just two of the ideas.

If each person receiving an angel in the run up to Christmas completed 12 of the 20 suggestions, the results would be phenomenal – 12,000 small acts of kindness to help more people feel less lonely at this time of year. And not forgetting the 129 crafters who started it all and the connections they have made with each other.

Of the 129 crafters involved, the youngest was just three years-old and the oldest 94 years young.

Crafters celebration
Crafters came together for a celebration of their work

Building Connections community organiser Jen said: “The whole idea grew from a conversation with my friend Richard, who was directing ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ at the Criterion Theatre in Earlsdon, Coventry.

“We took our cue from the premise of the story and the line ‘every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings’. From there came a plan to prompt random acts of kindness by giving out hand-crafted angels at the end of each performance. My job was sourcing the people to make angels and coordinate their efforts – quite a big task as it happened!

“But it has all been worth it – we are almost out of angels and scrolls! And there have been countless special moments witnessing the effect they have had… on visitors and staff at University Hospital, patients at Forum Health Centre in Wyken, and individuals volunteering to take batches of angels out into their own communities.”

What’s next?

It is hoped both angels and scrolls live on past Christmas, with no deadline to complete all 20 acts of kindness in one go.

However, anyone receiving an angel is invited to take a photo with their completed random acts of kindness scroll  – 12 at least! – and send it to Jen at jcooke@grapevinecovandwarks.org. We’d like to feature you on our Facebook page!