People in North Yorkshire are the Salt of the Earth, so we’re celebrating some of the acts of kindness in our communities across the county.
Read the story of Rose Priestley below and look out for more #SaltOfTheEarth stories published by our media partners in the Craven Herald, Darlington and Stockton Times, Harrogate Advertiser series, Scarborough News and Whitby Gazette – and on social media all year.
And if you know someone who makes a difference in their community, we’d like to hear about them. Tell us at SaltOfTheEarth@northyorks.gov.uk
On one hand, Rose Priestley, 24, is just walking someone’s dog for them, but #SaltoftheEarth is all about the little things that mean so much.
Rose, from Ripon, saw a Facebook post by Shirley, talking about her friend and neighbour, Martin. Due to mobility issues, Martin couldn’t walk his beloved, energetic dog, Olly, as much as he would like. Shirley asked on Facebook whether someone might be able to help.
Rose stepped up. She was keen to help, but also to enjoy spending time with a dog again. Her own died a year earlier.
Since July, Rose has been walking Olly about twice a week, which has made a big difference to her life and Martin’s.
Martin said: “Having someone like Rose around has given me rest time, she has made a big difference in my life. Without her help, I may not be able to continue having Olly around - it can be a struggle at times, as Olly is an active dog who just wants to walk.
“Olly is a member of the family, he is good company and a good friend, and I would miss him if I ever had to give him up.”
Rose has become friends with Martin and Shirley – and Olly, of course.
Rose said: “I think it’s very easy to do something to help others. I work a 9 to 5 job, and I work all over West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire, but I think it’s important to make time to give back. It doesn’t have to be anything big, all I do is walk someone’s dog, and it’s very ad hoc.
“It has helped me a lot, too. I used to get out a lot more when I had my dog. It was a good excuse to get out into the fresh air and clear my mind.”
Rose added: “Connecting with other people is really important, it can be so easy to get stuck in your own little bubble.”
Her friend, Ben Colson, also volunteered to walk Olly, showing how one small act of kindness can grow.
Shirley said looking out for others is a natural thing to do.
She said: “Everybody is so busy with work and we’ve all got our own things going on, but we can all look out for each other. I think it’s just nice knowing that someone cares – little things can make such a big difference. It doesn’t take much, maybe just a phone call, a text message, or knocking on a neighbour’s door to see how they are.”
If you know someone who makes a difference in their community, email us at SaltOfTheEarth@northyorks.gov.uk