We’ve loved getting involved in Random Acts of Kindness Week this week. It’s the perfect excuse to give a bit back to our guests, the community and of course Pembrokeshire. Lots of ideas were batted around, and we finally settled on three ways to show our appreciation.
We started with a beach clean on Newgale beach on Tuesday. We set off with our gloves, bin bags and litter pickers feeling enthusiastic and full of the joys of kindness. We arrived, wrapped up, walked to the top of the pebbles and were met with what looked like a perfectly clean expanse of sand. Which is a brilliant example of the Blue Flag scheme in action and a great reflection on our National Parks, but not such a great sight to six people armed to the teeth with bin bags and litter pickers who were beginning to feel a bit silly. However we persevered, set off in different directions and were soon amazed by how much plastic was lurking in among the pebbles, the vast majority of which hadn’t been dropped on Newgale but had washed up during the particularly high tides we often get over Winter. We soon filled numerous bin bags and in spite of the cold and wind, we remained enthused by the people who passed us and offered to carry bags back or simply thanked us for doing it. By the time we were finished we were windswept and happy.
It’s definitely inspired me to do more beach cleans. Even if it’s just for an hour and you fill one bag, that’s a bin bag full of rubbish that would otherwise have been littering our coastline and seas. If you’re planning your own beach clean, Keep Wales Tidy and Pembrokeshire County Council can provide equipment and also make sure the bin bags are collected if you’re not in the position to dispose of it yourselves.
We also knew that we wanted to direct some acts of kindness towards the community, and to do this we got together with a few cafes around the county to brighten up people’s day. We left some cards with cafes around the county with instructions to give them out to random people and tell them that they’re drink was on Coastal Cottages! We’ve heard from a few people thanking us for making them smile. The idea was inspired by the concept of ‘paying it forward,’ where a person orders a coffee and asks to pay for the next person’s too. It’s an easy way to put a smile on someone’s face.
The first cafe we went to was Caffi Llew, a gorgeous little cafe on Tudor Square which serves lunch and evening meals in a lovely setting.
The second was The Qube, an award winning restaurant that does lovely tea and cake as well as the local steaks they’re famous for.
We then headed to Lillies in Narberth, a small super friendly coffee shop famous for their smiley face drinks!
Last was Oriel Y Parc in St Davids, the cafe attached to the tourist information centre, as well as their lovely cakes they do a cooked breakfast which is to die for, and even cater for vegans and coeliacs! We were really pleased that all four cafes were enthusiastic and were looking forward to giving some joy to their customers.
Lastly, as an act of kindness to some of our guests, we randomly selected a few people who have booked with us and gave them a call to let them know that we’ll be paying for their holiday! Jade made the calls and had a grin from ear to ear afterwards. She said that it felt really good to hear people’s reactions to some lovely random news.
We really hope that we have brought some cheer this week, and would love to hear from anyone who has had one of our cards! It has inspired a lot of us in the office to carry out more acts of kindness day to day, not only to make other’s smile, but also because it feels great.