Mother-of-three Lucy Alexander openly started campaigning for kindness in 2016 after her son Felix tragically took his own life aged 17. Felix had been a victim of school bullying since the age of ten, which later spiralled into social media abuse.
Speaking to HELLO!, Lucy, who is largely credited with starting the #BeKind hashtag, said she is on a mission to spread kindness and to ensure no other child feels the same pain Felix did.
"I have been so fortunate to be surrounded by the kindness of my family and my friends in the past five years. I lost my son Felix to suicide in 2016 and my world quite literally fell apart," Lucy shared.
"From that awful day in April to now, I have been held so carefully in the arms of those I love and they have cushioned me against the pain of my loss. Without their kindness, I would be truly lost and they have given me the strength to move forward and try to give my son the voice he did not feel he had.
"Kindness costs nothing and it means everything. #BeKind" - Lucy Alexander
"Felix sadly had very little kindness in his too-short life and it has made me even more determined to try to help people understand just how important it is to be kind.
"I felt that Felix gave me a job to do when he died to ensure that other young people didn't feel the way he did so I wrote a letter to my local paper asking for people to be kind to each other and this has grown into a campaign, Felix's Campaign of Kindness. Kindness costs nothing and it means everything. #BeKind."
Lucy, who works as a nurse, also spoke about the importance of being kind amid the pandemic. "The last 18 months have been really difficult for everyone," she said. "The global pandemic has meant that we have been challenged as never before, and supporting each other is more important than ever.
"Kindness has been, and continues to be, what helps us keep going. Small gestures of kindness have such a huge impact. I am a nurse and have worked throughout the pandemic and have been so touched by the kind words, cards and gratitude shown by the people I have worked with and the people I have cared for.
"Every time someone is kind towards another, they give them a little joyous gift, a feeling that they are making a difference and that they are appreciated."
Following her son's death, Lucy set up Felix's Campaign of Kindness at his former school, Pershore High School, to help teachers spot the signs that someone is being bullied, and to teach students to support their peers. Lucy also became an ambassador for children's mental health charity Place2Be, which counts the Duchess of Cambridge as its royal patron.
Founder of Place2Be, Dame Benny Refson, praised Lucy as she told HELLO!: "Lucy has experienced great sadness in her life which could have resulted in a hardened heart.
"Instead, Lucy has become an ambassador for compassion offering kindness and comfort for those who have experienced similar losses but also thoughts and words which support young people who have become bullied and troubled, often resulting in their vulnerability becoming a risk to their wellbeing and mental health. I am personally very grateful for Lucy's courage and voice."
She also appeared on This Morning where she inspired the show's Be Kind campaign. Lucy stressed that everyone has a collective responsibility to look out for vulnerable children who may be being bullied – be that their classmates, their parents and their teachers.
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