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Hey Sunshine Coast, you gotta be cool to be kind

We all know a kind word or action can change your day for the better, boosting happiness and, in-turn, inspiring you to do good deeds for others.

That’s why local businesses, Sunshine Coast Council and Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service have joined forces, launching a new campaign promoting kindness.

The campaign, It’s Cool to be Kind, is designed to support local businesses and industry doing it tough in the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Workers across many sectors, including hospitality, retail, transport, medical and administration are experiencing an increase in customer anger and abuse. And it’s not cool.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the kindness campaign, featuring unbranded videos, posters and marketing content for everyone to use, would generate widespread community awareness of the importance and benefits of treating staff and others in the community with kindness and respect.

“It’s all about encouraging a culture of kindness here on the Sunshine Coast,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“We know times have been tough, but many workers who are copping abuse have been providing us with much needed goods and services since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“They roll up their sleeves to help customers, clients and patients, putting on a brave face, giving us a smile as they go about their work.

“Staff shortages and supply issues are having big impacts and ripple effects across the region and country, and no business wants to inconvenience their customers.

“But some problems are unavoidable and staff don’t deserve to be treated poorly by customers.

“Everyone is doing their best, so please remember to keep kindness front of mind in all your interactions. If you don’t have anything nice to say, it’s best not to say anything at all.”

Sunshine Coast’s Roz White, Co-Owner and Operator of White’s IGA Group, said the campaign was very much needed.

“Throughout the pandemic our store teams have been directly impacted by constant change and uncertainty, some supply disruption due to peak demands and, more recently, an abnormal level of staff absenteeism due to a surge in COVID-19 cases,” Ms White said. 

“It has been a tough few years for our team members.

“Please know we are trying really hard to support our community as much as possible and are focused on keeping everyone safe and well.

“We are passionate about delivering the best quality experience to our customers and we appreciate every kind gesture. Even something as simple as a ‘thank you’ or ‘have a nice day’ can make all the difference.”

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Dr Peter Gillies said kindness and compassion were key to a healthy community.

“We all have a role to play in keeping our community healthy and one way to do that is be kind to one another,” Dr Gillies said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone, and things can get a little frustrating, but it’s now time for us to work together, support one another and move our community forward.

“Remember, we’re all in this together and we’re all doing the best we can.”

With the help of local business staff from across the region, Sunshine Coast Council has created a range of free Kind is Cool unbranded campaign material, such as videos and posters, for businesses and services to download and display at their premises and share on social media.

They can be downloaded from council’s website.

Council thanks the following organisations for helping create this campaign and encouraging everyone to be kind and be cool – White’s IGA Bli Bli, Yoghurt and Gelato World Mooloolaba, Entice Mooloolaba, Coolum Coaches, Glass – Coffee House and Wine Bar and Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

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