Jaime Thurston is the Founder of a unique charity called 52 Lives, a brilliant organisation that aims to change somebody’s life every single week. Inspired by her good work with the charity, Jaime has penned a brilliant book, simply titled Kindness. This month, Jaime, the 52 Lives team and our friends at HarperCollins are spreading a little kindness and encouraging us all to be a little better to each other. We caught up with Jaime to talk tea, good deeds and happy places…
1. What inspired you to write a book about being kind and why do you call acts of kindness ‘the little things that matter most’?
I really believe that people are good and we want to help one another – sometimes we just aren’t sure how. So I wanted to write a book that gave people simple ideas of things they can do to help bring more kindness into the world. Each suggestion is supported by a little case study of someone we’ve helped before or some interesting science about the amazing effects kindness has on our minds and bodies. Kindness has the power to change our mindsets, strengthen communities and ultimately create a better world. That’s why I think it is the little thing the matters most.
2. Tell us about 52 Lives and your amazing work with the charity…
52 Lives aims to change someone’s life every week of the year, with the help of almost 100,000 supporters who offer goods, services … or just kindness, to whoever it is we are helping that week. We also run kindness workshops in schools to empower children by helping them to realise that the little choices they make every day have the power to change lives.
3. Having founded a charity and written a book, you’re one busy person. Tell us about your typical day and how you balance hard work with rest…
I have a new baby, so my days and nights blend into each other at the moment. I tend to do a lot of my emails in the middle of the night while I’m feeding him (he wakes at 2am and 5am) as it keeps me from falling alseep while I’m holding him! Then my proper day starts at 6.30am when my two older children wake up. After the school run, I come back home to work. My fiancé and I both work at home, so between us we manage to juggle working and caring for our new little boy. We tend to work for a couple of hours in the morning, then go out for a long walk to a big country park nearby and set up our computers in the café there for the afternoon.
I feel so lucky that we are both able to work at home, but it also feels good to get out in nature during the day. My main aim now is to finish working at 3.30pm when I pick the children up from school – I have been guilty of looking at my phone and computer too much, so I’m making an effort to be more present and give them my proper attention. Then it’s dinner, bedtime, lots of baby feeding followed by a long bath for me. I go to bed far too late – about midnight – and then my baby wakes at 2am and it starts all over again. Wow, I just read that back… no wonder I’m tired.
4. What’s your favourite blend of tea and how do you take it?
It’s hard to choose a favourite. I love black tea with vanilla, green tea and peppermint but mostly I drink English Breakfast tea – I have it incredibly weak and with oat milk.
5. Where’s your happy place?
In the bath. Ideally without children in it with me.
6. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Nothing and no one in the outside world can affect how we feel. Once I realised that, I felt very free.
7. How can we get involved with 52 Lives and make a difference?
Just visit our website, follow us on social media or sign up for the newsletter. Each week, I share a new story of someone in need of help and sharing the stories with your networks and offering help when you can will make a huge difference.