Acts of Kindness
Previously a client of Turning Tides, Chris Lawson is now a musician. Chris has honoured the acts of kindness he received in the form of a song – because he will never forget.
Chris had been homeless and sleeping rough on a bench in Worthing, when resident, Sophie, spotted him from her window one morning as she was preparing lunch for her children.
Sophie recalls: “it was a freezing cold and damp day, it just made me realise how lucky I am to be able to make my coffee and enjoy it from the warmth and safety of my home. I made an extra cup of coffee, grabbed a piece of fruit and some change and on my way out, left them for him when he awoke.”
When Sophie returned from work, she found a note on her doorstep, along with a heart-shaped pendant. The note read:
“To the lady and the little girl. What you did for me was the greatest act of kindness. Thank you so much. God bless. Here is a small gift.” There are not many like you left in this world. I owe you, one day I shall pay you an act of kindness as soon as I get my life back on track.”
Sophie said: “It was just so sweet and so heartfelt. That very normal thing for most of a morning coffee, just made his whole day; he was so touched by it. It just goes that a small act of kindness can go a long way.” Chris recalled how important it was for him: “It was a really low point in my life, I really needed not just the drink and something to eat but also the gesture of kindness. I meant so much at that really low time.”
Sophie has always felt passionately about the right everyone has to a home and further down the line applied for a job with Turning Tides. Several years on she cares immensely about her job as a Fundraising Officer, she feels empowered to make a real difference.
“When I met with David O’Connell, the co-founder of a record label for homeless musicians called Host Recordings, I recommended that Chris got involved. Since then, Chris, who now lives in Littlehampton, has been recording music at St Clare’s Community Hub in Worthing and has written and recorded several songs.
Chris’ song called Hidden Love has been dedicated to Sophie in gratitude of her kindness. Chris describes his new song: “it is about how people don’t share enough love around, or they hide it. A lot of people out there are too busy with life.” The power of music to convey those messages is not only giving hope to others but also it has a tremendously positive impact on Chris himself, for whom “mentally and emotionally, music does help out big time.”
Other clients at Turning Tides also find the sessions held by Host Recordings to be extremely cathartic. Often throwing themselves into the opportunity to learn how to put across their feelings and tell their story through writing their own songs.
Mr O’Connell, the founder of Host Recordings, said that “being part of Chris’ journey as a songwriter is a hugely inspiring mission to be part of – particularly when a story like this happens. Watching Chris develop as a singer and songwriter has been an awe inspiring and life-affirming experience. He has a story to tell, he is telling it through music and we aim to make sure that he is heard.”