A FRIENDLY gesture to battle loneliness has brought smiles to many faces in a Borders town.
Kelso florist Jamie McKenzie, 29, opened a shop in Kelso’s Roxburgh Street in July.
And lately Mr McKenzie has been placing bouquets around the town for people to find and take home.
“It’s just a random act of kindness,” said Mr McKenzie, the owner of Flowers by McKenzie, who calls the bouquets “lonely arrangements”.
He said: “My friend Danielle who owns Floral Creations by Danielle [Hawick] created the ‘lonely bouquet’.
“I asked her if I could do a variation – it was us working together, not against each other.
“It seemed like a nice thing to do to cheer people up.”
‘I always dreamed of owning my own company’
Mr McKenzie, who is also the organist at the North Parish Church in Kelso, told the Border Telegraph that the reactions to the lonely arrangements have been “amazing”.
“People are so happy – it’s putting a smile on faces,” he said. “It’s fabulous.”
For every lonely arrangement hidden, Mr McKenzie provides a hint about its location with his social media following, and encourages the lucky person who finds the flowers to share them online too.
And it’s not just flowers to be found in the lonely arrangement – with every bouquet comes a handwritten note with words of congratulations and comfort.
Mr McKenzie said: “Some of the notes have said, ‘Something to make you smile, happiness is best shared’.”
Opening his own business was something Mr McKenzie had hoped to do for some time and as lockdown came in he decided “to heck with it” and opened his shop.
“I’ve got 15 years of experience,” Mr Mr McKenzie said.
“I always dreamed of owning my own company and for it to be as successful as possible.
“We opened at the end of July and it’s been absolutely mental.”
During the short time of running the business, Mr McKenzie – who runs the shop with his two colleagues Caroline and Ange – has been moved by the kindness of strangers in the town.
He said: “People’s kindness is wonderful.
“Somebody came into the shop saying they’d seen what we were doing to spread happiness and gave us a £150 donation.
“Another customer of ours came in for her order and gave us £100 even though her order was £40.
“There are good people out there who want to make people smile.”
He added: “And our neighbours Seasons – Claire and Steve – have been a great support since we opened.
“Claire and Steve think the idea [lonely arrangements] is wonderful.”
Although unsure how long he will continue the lonely arrangements gesture, Mr McKenzie is happy knowing the flowers are helping to brighten people’s days.
“It’s just a random act of kindness,” he said.
“I’m not doing this for the glory, it’s mainly about making people happy.
“I want people to know that there are people thinking of them.”