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The Thousand Hours Story

So far...
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Thousand Hours is in it's 5th Year...

Thousand Hours began in October 2016, and we are now in our 5th Year of bringing A Kindness Revolution to Ashford and beyond. 

But where did it come from and what has our journey been so far? 



Where did Thousand Hours come from? 

The idea for Thousand Hours came from a similar project set up by Causeway Coast Vineyard– a Church in Ireland. We had seen that they had set up a project called 10,000 hours, and thought it sounded like something we would love to do it our little corner of Kent. Since our town and church are considerably smaller, we thought 1000 hours for the first year was a manageable target… never did we imagine, where we’d be 5 years down the line. 

What did it LOOK like in the First Year?

So in that first year, it was just us, a small Community Church in Ashford- Ashford Vineyard. And in all honesty, we had NO idea what it was going to look like, whether anyone would get involved, whether it would be a one off, or continue onwards. But we jumped in with both feet, and knew that no matter what, if we brought life to a few people in Ashford, it would be worth it. And so, as a church, we committed to doing acts of kindness around our town, Bringing Life to Ashford in any way that we could during the month of October (and beyond- Kindness is not just for October!!). We organised litter picks, DIY days in some of our local schools, we baked cakes for our neighbours, wrote “thank you” cards for our local emergency services. If we could think of it, we did it. And it was a success. We logged over 1800 hours in that first year. 

Fast Forward 4 Years- 2019

So by 2019 we had launched Thousand Hours for our 4th year running. Over those years, we had countless stories of kindness impacting our community. It was not longer ‘just’ our church community, but the community in Ashford, as a whole, getting involved in A Kindness Revolution. Our incredible friends at Radio Ashford  were shouting about us from the roof-tops, we had businesses on board, councillors and Love Ashford championing us along the way. In those 4 years we welcomed countless people into the fun, we gave away fruit pots and sweets and cakes across the town. We set up The Beehive , from pop-up to a permanent feature in the town. We did little acts of kindness, that we may never know the impact of. We took the leap into schools, going from 6 primary schools in 2017, to 25 primary schools in 2019- meeting with over 12,500 children over that time. And along the way, we inspired and shared our knowledge with several other churches across the country. 


In 2019, we logged a whopping 53,833 hours of kindness in the month of October. (It still BLOWS OUR MINDS…) A far cry from 1000 hours. 

Is it ALL about the hours?

Thousand Hours, in it’s “title” is all about the hours. But let me tell you this… The project is not. Something we say is “it’s not about the hours, but the hours reflect the heart”. Why do we log hours? Because kindness is not something you can quantify… time you can. Stories you can collect.

Taking a moment to stop and reflect on the acts of kindness you do, being aware and celebrating, is so important. Coming together as a whole community, to collectively pledge acts of kindness, is a beautiful thing. And so even though the hours really don’t matter, they reflect the heart of people taking time out of their day to change a life. 

In the first 4 Octobers, we logged 74,790 hours. If 1 hour impacted 1 life (and we know for a fact that some of those 1 hour logs impacted multiple people in one go!) isn’t it incredible to think that 74,790 people may never have been the same since, through one simple act of kindness?

This, THIS is why we log the hours.

This year has been different..

This year (much like everything in the entire world), things have been a bit different. Everything has gone online. Thousand Hours has looked different, acts of kindness’ have looked different. We haven’t been able to organise big events like we usually would, we haven’t logged hours this year, we logged stories. We’ve encouraged people to do their own acts of kindness. It’s been low key. But it has not been insignificant.

We still took kindness into schools via videos and printable resources. We have so missed being physically in schools and being out and about doing big events, but watching stories unfold, seeing the little acts of kindness dropping across our town, brings such excitement for the ripples that will go on further than we can see. 

Now, more than ever, kindness is important and we hope that in the midst of chaos, people have known that they are seen, that they are valued and that they are loved. 

A Personal Note from Me...

I personally, have had the privilege of being on the team since day 1, and have seen it change and adapt and grow as each year passes. I’ve seen the highs (and a few lows), the BIG acts and the SMALL. I’ve seen the stories unfold, the hours clock up, the photos roll in. I’ve laughed and i’ve cried. And every year has been an honour and a joy. 5 years down the line, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that every year I look forward to more opportunities to make an impact. And every October, the kindness tumbles over into the rest of the year. Thousand Hours gives us a unique opportunity to reach out, to be inspired and to reignite the flame of intentional kindness, that gets dampened in amongt the busy- we all need a reminder once in a while.

Never underestimate the power of a little act of kindness. The ripples go further than you will ever know, or see. 


Need more inspiration than all of that, for you to make kindness a priority? Here’s some spoken word to inspire you. Kindness is not just for October. We hope that Thousand Hours sparks the flame that will continue throughout the year…

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