Show Paddington a little love this Valentine's Day

Forget showing love this February with the cliched candlelit dinner, token red rose and slightly cringey card. Instead select one of the Paddington Community Programme's 14 small actions to spread a little love in Paddington this February and give yourself that wonderful warm fuzzy feeling in return.

1. Not yet had your fill of pancakes? Why not organise a spontaneous pop-up pancake sale at work ? Your colleagues will appreciate the mid-week treat and you can donate the proceeds to a cause you care about.

2. Help an elderly person connect to their loved ones by providing support with emails, Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook. In addition to building confidence and skills, you’ll provide essential companionship.

3. If you enjoy chatting, how about running a one-off telephone group for house-bound individuals? The group are always looking for speakers to lead a discussion, whether about a hobby, a favourite holiday destination, or what you’ve been watching on television.

4. Start small and simply spread a little positivity at work. Leave a note on a colleague's desk to make them smile – a funny story, inspirational quote or silly picture. You never know, they might send one back.

5. As you pick up your lunch at Sainsbury’s in Sheldon Square, grab an extra item or two for North Paddington Food Bank and drop it into the collection boxes by the store entrance.

6. In between the treats your children may be enjoying this half-term, encourage them to sort through their bookshelves. Are there any multiple copies, stories they have outgrown or books they could recite by heart and no longer want? Several local  schools and a new reading project  in Church Street would love to grow their libraries. 

7. Whilst your children streamline their bookshelves, see if you can do the same to your wardrobe. Local charities supporting the homeless are in need of winter clothes at this time of year – particularly coats, jumpers, shoes and thick socks.

8. Join Paddington’s first ever Great British Spring Clean on Friday 2 March. Give up an hour of your time and travel along the water by canoe, collecting rubbish as you paddle. You’ll be one of over 150 volunteers along the tow path and on boats.

9. But don’t wait until the Spring Clean to start showing Paddington you care. As you walk to work, the station or to grab your lunch, be a litter hero and pick up any rubbish you see.

10. Sign up to receive the Paddington Community Programme newsletter and get a monthly update of all the amazing ways you could make a difference – whether supporting one off events, through skilled volunteering or by making donations.   

11. Could your business help spread the love  and offer meeting room space? A local charity launching new premises in Paddington in the Spring is looking for a venue on Monday 19 February for 30 people.  

12. If not meeting space what about storage? A local children’s charity was overwhelmed at Christmas time with donations of toys, books and games and needs a safe location to store the gifts until December.

13. Book out an hour on Monday 26 February in your calendar and head to Paddington Central at 1pm. A music group comprising homeless service users who have been working with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields will be performing a free, open air concert. They’d love to see you in the audience.

14. Simply send on a link to this article and let you colleagues, neighbours, friends and family know how they could be helping the Paddington Community.

If you would like further details about any of the opportunities in this article, or information about the Paddington Community Programme generally, please contact Emily.