Throughout lockdown, 83-year-old Robert Kaneen has selflessly given his time to help those less able, driving them to hospital appointments, delivering their weekly shop, and checking on their wellbeing with homemade cake.
On Friday, the Bolton-based community hero was honoured by his family in the most unique way – by putting a message of encouragement and recognition on a billboard.
The move, orchestrated by his daughter Les Kaneen, was designed to celebrate his achievements and shout about his good deeds so that he and his neighbours would be able to be motivated by his selfless actions through the pandemic.
These small but significant acts of kindness like Robert’s have kept the country going through such difficult times.
Robert’s family wanted to show their appreciation for his inspiring kindness, noting that “whilst Robert has always kept positive, the pandemic has, of course taken its toll on the activities he usually enjoys, in particular the weekly visits of his disabled grandson Scott, which he has found incredibly hard.”
As the van arrived at his house, with his family’s message displayed on the billboard, Robert said, “I am truly speechless.
“Throughout lockdown it has been tough not being able to see my family and friends, so I just wanted to make sure they were well and coping.
“Having something like this arrive at my house has cheered me up and made my day.
“Kindness is something instilled in me by my late wife who was a nurse, so we must remember to carry on being kind throughout this pandemic.”
Driving Kindness is part of a wider partnership with Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), and last week saw KIND Snacks delivering personalised doorstop messages of encouragement and goodwill via mobile digital billboard in a bid to exercise kindness and boost mental health across the nation.
“Showing kindness and compassion is something that is needed now more than ever, and even the smallest act of kindness can travel the furthest and really help our mental health, so it’s quite apt that these messages will quite literally be travelling the roads to bring some joy to people’s lives,” said ambassador for the campaign, Dr Alex George, who has spent hundreds of hours working on the frontline.
“I’m so happy to be helping Brits to share messages of kindness to loved ones in such a unique way, especially as keeping tabs on our mental health and checking in with family and friends is key to getting through this lockdown.”