We’re celebrating acts of kindness in communities across the county in our #SaltOfTheEarth campaign.
Read the story of inspirational campaigner Chloe Bellerby below and look out for more #SaltOfTheEarth stories published by our media partners and on social media all year.
Chloe Bellerby, from Harrogate, understands more than most how transformative kindness can be.
Only three years ago, Chloe was self-harming every day and didn’t see a reason for living, but kindness saved her.
Chloe’s PE teacher at Rossett School, Ricky O’Sullivan, noticed she had lost her spark, and his kind words and encouragement to open up about her feelings proved to be a critical intervention at a time when she had been planning another attempt at taking her own life.
Now, Chloe shares her own messages of hope and support on a Facebook page, Chloe Bellerby Mental Health, which is a beacon of kindness around the world – quite literally, as she currently lives in New Jersey, pursuing her dreams by completing a football scholarship alongside her university studies.
Chloe walked 220 miles from Leeds to London in the past to raise funds for Mind mental health charity, and has delivered inspirational talks in schools across the Harrogate district to share her story and help other young people who are suffering in silence. Chloe has also played an integral role in bringing mental health charity Active Minds onto her university campus, making mental health a priority issue.
Harrogate resident Jordan Filtness is among the followers of Chloe’s Facebook page. She said: “Chloe helps me on a daily basis, whenever I see her post something on social media or doing all the fundraising she is doing, it reminds me that there is so much good in the world and lifts me up even without knowing it.
“Chloe is someone who has gone through so much pain and suffering, yet she has managed to work her way through it all. Through her positive mindset, motivational talks and constant reminders on social media, she has completely changed my outlook on life. She was one of the first people who really made me aware that it is OK not to be OK, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
“She taught me that there are positives in every day, but it’s OK if you are not positive every day.
“A little act of kindness when someone is in their darkest moment can save someone’s life. It reminds people that they are loved, appreciated and wanted in the world. It can take them away from their lowest point and hardest thoughts, giving them a glimpse of hope.”
Chloe said: “You never know what another person is going through, the thoughts they are having or the things they are battling. It is so incredibly important to be kind to one another.
“In a world that has so much hate and cruelty, being kind to each other can make all the difference. I think many underestimate the power of kindness, and the positive effect it can have on a person’s mental health. Every day you have the power to impact a person in a positive way, or make their day better – why wouldn’t you want to do that?”