AS part of Mental Health Awareness Week, intu Merry Hill is encouraging people to highlight acts of kindness in the community amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Shopping centre bosses are asking visitors to nominate people in the area who have gone above and beyond to help those in need since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

From helping a self-isolating neighbour to supporting a charity during the pandemic, no act of kindness is too small...and to say thank you, intu Merry Hill will select a local hero to reward with a £100 intu gift card.

Designed to inspire more people to be kind to one another, the campaign is taking place at intu’s 14 centres across the UK as part of its long-term commitment to help and support positive mental health among visitors and staff.

Earlier this year intu Merry Hill joined forces with Dudley Mind to launch ‘Chatty Chairs’ - an initiative encouraging everyone to be more open about mental health and raising awareness of anxiety and depression - and in December, intu’s chief executive Matthew Roberts signed The Time to Change pledge, a growing social movement run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness to transform attitudes to mental health in the workplace.

Rachael Jackson, general manager at intu Merry Hill, added: “Now more than ever, it’s important to raise awareness of mental health and ensure that we are supporting one another as much as we can.

“We know that there are a lot of people in our team and in the local community who have been going out of their way to help those in need. By doing this, we hope to encourage even more people to do so.”

Sandra Vaughan, chief executive for Dudley Mind, said: “We have seen a spike in mental health issues over the last few months and to help people who are in need of advice or support, we have extended our support line to provide help until midnight, seven days a week.

“The lockdown has been particularly challenging for some, but thankfully it has also shown us the positive actions many have taken to support others. One kind word over the fence, as you pass when out exercising or over the phone, can make a huge difference to someone and may mean the difference between life and death.”

intu Merry Hill is currently operating on a partially open basis to provide access to key stores such as pharmacies, supermarkets and banks.

To nominate someone for their kindness visit intu Merry Hill’s Facebook or Instagram pages.

For mental health advice and support people can call Dudley Mind on 01384 442938.