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TV personality Jess Wright transforms Befriending group into a luxury Spa for "World Kindness Day"

13th November 2019

Members of Colchester’s Warm and Toasty Club were treated to a surprise luxury spa day and were joined by TV personality and reality star Jess Wright, and her mother Carol Wright, to mark World Kindness Day today (Wednesday 13 November).

Their visit to the cross-generational befriending group was to celebrate The National Lottery’s support of befriending services across the UK over the last 25 years. Since 1994 The National Lottery has raised an extraordinary £40 billion for good causes, including £850 million to directly help tackle loneliness and social isolation in communities across the UK.

The visit comes as research from The National Lottery showed the average person gave themselves a ‘kindness’ rating of 7.3 out of 10, with one in ten (14%) rating themselves as 10/10.

However, despite these high ratings, it’s clear that most of us also think we could do more – in fact, over half of us (52%) admit we could be kinder to others in our day-to-day lives while just three in ten (29%) are adamant they couldn’t do more.

In the survey of 2,000 adults, almost two thirds (63%) admitted they could be better at staying in touch with people they haven’t seen for a while, while 53% of people agreed they could make more time for close family and friends. Over a third (35%) felt they could be kinder in their day to day life by helping more isolated or vulnerable people in their community.

Meanwhile, 4 in 5 people said they often carry out a random act of kindness for someone they don’t know – but only 49% said that strangers often carry out random acts of kindness for them in return.

To mark World Kindness Day, members of the Warm and Toasty club were treated with the surprise act of kindness during one of their regular Memory Afternoons, in which guests share happy memories of their lives and take part in activities to support them in building connections and boosting their self-worth and confidence.

Alongside a team of helpers, Jess and Carol helped turn the Warm and Toasty Club into a luxury spa for the day - with face masks, manicures, hand massages, and tasty treats for the guests. While the guests got pampered, Jess and Carol joined the group to share some of their fondest memories and childhood photos as part of the group’s Memory Afternoon session.

After a couple of hours of spa treatments, non-stop laughing and revelling in the stories from everyone's past, Jess Wright said:

“What better way to mark World Kindness Day than to spend quality time with this amazing group of people, alongside my mum - it’s been so good for the soul.

“Kindness is underrated – there are things we can all do to make a difference to someone’s day. Loneliness and isolation affect so many people of all ages, and initiatives like this, funded by The National Lottery have helped many thousands to meet new people and make friends. Sometimes all it takes are a few kind words, a cup of tea or a bit of a pampering to show someone that they matter.”

“I’ve loved visiting the Warm and Toasty Club today and hearing all of the stories of days gone by during a nice relaxing treatment. It just shows how amazing it can be when different generations can take time out from their lives to come together. I’m not sure many people who play The National Lottery would realise that they’re also helping to create friendships and tackle loneliness.”

Jess’s mum Carol

According to Age UK. 1.2 million older people in England are ‘chronically lonely’, and 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with friends or family for a month.

The Memory Afternoons, run by the Warm and Toasty Club, are just one of more than 11,650 befriending projects across the UK which The National Lottery has funded to provide companionship for people affected by social isolation, and those in older age.

The project was formed five years ago by Johnno Casson. After being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and forced to rethink his life, Johnno decided to create the cross-generational community group.

Johnno Casson

“I went from being a senior manager and having loads of friends to being unable to move. I spent a year house bound. I decided to refocus my attention on a project that wasn’t driven by money, but was something that was doing good in our community. “A great deal of what we do would be possible without The National Lottery so we’re thrilled to be part of its 25th birthday celebrations - it’s been amazing to give the five star spa treatment to all our very deserving guests!”

Warm and Toasty Club founder, Johnno Casson

“Being part of a community and building friendships makes people happier and healthier. Groups like The Warm and Toasty Club help people connect with others and feel a sense of belonging. National Lottery players can feel proud of the positive difference they’re making to people and communities across the UK – The National Lottery’s 25th Birthday is a perfect time to celebrate this.”

Dawn Austwick, CEO of The National Lottery Community Fund

Jan Vernon, a 74-year-old resident of Enoch House, a sheltered housing facility in Colchester, is a regular at Warm and Toasty. Her best friend Carol Round, 73, introduced her to the club, and nowadays the two women are inseparable.

Jan said:

“I’ve never been on a spa day but it was amazing to have this experience with all my closest friends and made us feel really special. I used to be shy and nervous but when I come to a Memory Afternoon at the Warm and Toasty Club it helps me stop worrying about the past. I’ve made new friends and I’m making new memories.

“Every week, me and Carol say to each other, “It’s Warm and Toasty tomorrow”. It lifts our spirits so high. We’ve never missed a session and it always makes us feel 100 per cent better.”

To mark World Kindness Day, Jess and Carol Wright have also shared some top tips on simple acts of kindness that we can all do.

Jess and Carol’s top kindness tips include:


Don’t lose touch with the people around you. Call a family member or friend you haven’t seen in a while and see how they are. We always call each other as much as possible to hear what’s new.

Send texts to three people you care about letting them know that you’re thinking about them. We all spend so much time on our phones, so why not take a second to spread some kindness while you’re at it!

Don’t forget to be kind to yourself. It’s incredibly hard to be compassionate to others if you aren’t treating yourself fairly, and so often we’re too hard on ourselves. Self-care is so important.

Sign up to volunteer at a local befriending project – just like the Warm and Toasty Club. The National Lottery funds thousands of these across the UK and you can brighten someone’s day by offering companionship.

Discover the positive impact playing the National Lottery has had on your community over the past 25 years by visiting www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the 25th hashtag: #NationalLottery25.

Notes to editors

Pictures, interviews and case studies of people and projects who have benefitted from National Lottery funding are available on request.

For further information and images, please contact:
Shelly Naylor, Shelly.Naylor@lotterygoodcauses.org.uk, 02072113899


Top tips for Kindness – from Jess and Carol Wright


Don’t lose touch with the people around you. Call a family member or friend you haven’t seen in a while and see how they are. We always call each other as much as possible to hear what’s new.

Pay a compliment to someone you meet today. They could be behind the counter in a café, shop or supermarket! Share the love and help build someone’s confidence.

Send texts to three people you care about letting them know that you’re thinking about them. We all spend so much time on our phones, so why not take a second to spread some kindness while you’re at it!

Smile at a stranger. Smiling is contagious and warms the heart!

Be grateful. Make sure to say thank you whenever a person does something for you. By showing gratitude to people for helping you, you are encouraging them to continue to do so with others.

Hold the door open for people. This simple act can make someone feel special and noticed.

Don’t forget to be kind to yourself. It’s incredibly hard to be compassionate to others if you aren’t treating yourself fairly, and so often we’re too hard on ourselves. Self-care is so important.

Sign up to volunteer at a local befriending project – just like the Warm and Toasty Club. The National Lottery funds thousands of these across the UK and you can brighten someone’s day by offering companionship.



About The National Lottery and its 25th Birthday celebration:


The National Lottery’s Birthday celebrations are running for a five-week period (from 14 Oct until 6 December). There are some incredible activities planned across the UK to celebrate the good causes that have been made possible thanks to National Lottery players over the last 25 years. Since The National Lottery’s first draw took place on 19 November 1994, more than £40 billion has been raised for good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community.

The 25th birthday is a moment to celebrate the extraordinary impact The National Lottery has had on the UK, and to say thank you to National Lottery players for contributing around £30 million to good causes every week.

The National Lottery has made more than 5,500 millionaires but its primary purpose is giving to good causes - over 565,000 individual grants have been awarded across the UK, that’s the equivalent of 200 life-changing projects in every UK postcode district.

The majority (70 per cent) of National Lottery grants are for £10,000 or less, helping small projects make a big difference in their community.

Over the past 25 years, The National Lottery has given over £850 million towards befriending projects, providing companionship for people affected by loneliness or social isolation, and those in older age.
Since 1994, The National Lottery has funded more than 11,650 befriending projects across the UK.

About the Warm and Toasty Club



The Warm and Toasty Club are proud to be funded by The National Lottery Community Fund

You can find more about the Warm and Toasty Club here: <>https://thewarmandtoastyclub.weebly.com/about.html