You never know where one small act of kindness can lead—even one where you never see the other person face-to-face. Paige Hunter, an 18-year-old student at East Durham College in northeast England, saw just how much of an impact her actions could make when she decided to attach uplifting messages to Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland. The inspiring teen tied more than 200 encouraging notes to the bridge in order to help those who might be facing a mental health crisis. She was inspired to do so after overcoming her own battle with mental health, which had previously led her to attempt to take her own life on that same bridge.
Understanding what someone in that headspace might be going through, Hunter wrote each note to contain friendly words of encouragement and inspiring affirmations. One read, “You’re not alone,” and it contained the number to a local support center. Another held this missive: “Even though things are difficult, your life matters; you're a shining light in a dark world, so just hold on.” Hunter’s efforts, though their full influence is immeasurable, managed to reach at least six people—saving their lives, according to the report of local police.
Though she wasn’t looking for any recognition for her kindhearted actions, the officers decided to award Hunter with a commendation certificate for her service. “Paige has shown an incredible understanding of vulnerable people in need of support,” said Northumbria Police Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt. “For somebody so young, Paige has shown a real maturity and we thought it would only be right to thank her personally. She should be very proud of herself.”
“It's just amazing, the response it has had,” Hunter says, surprised to see the impression her efforts have made. “I wasn't doing this for an award; it was just something that I wanted to do.”
Though Hunter performed her kind deed several years ago—back in 2018—an article detailing her initiative and its astonishing effect has recently resurfaced and is again circling the internet. This only goes to show that, even all this time later, her actions are still having an impact, inspiring people around the world.