I remember watching Pay it Forward at the cinema, way back in 2000. It’s about a school teacher, played by Kevin Spacey, who gives his class an assignment to come up with – and put into action – a plan that will change the world for the better. Trevor, played by Haley Joel Osment, comes up with a plan that’s almost like a Pyramid Scheme of good deeds. How it works is that the recipient of a favour must do favours for three other people, rather than returning the favour, and Trevor calls this plan ‘Paying it forward’.
Paying it Forward may be a movie but it’s also a worldwide phenomenon and is celebrated on 28 April. But I bet you probably didn’t know that… and why? Well, because how many UK brands can you think of who participate in this? I can’t think of any.
That’s about to change though as Le Pain Quotidien is testing how receptive Londoners are to random acts of kindness. For one week, commencing 25 April, Le Pain Quotidien customers will be encouraged to take a Pay it Forward card and purchase either a coffee, dinner for two, tartine or a baking class, pay for their order (as well as their Pay it Forward order) and then pass on the receipt to their chosen recipient for them to enjoy (even better if you don’t know them!). That person can then claim the order and enjoy it!
Le Pan Quotidien’s philosophy is all about community and that community is what nurtures, inspires and feeds the soul. That’s why they’re partnering with national charity, FoodCycle, and will be donating £5 to the charity for every baking class purchased through Pay it Forward. I was lucky enough to be invited to one of their baking classes and I can confirm that it’s lots of fun! FoodCyle builds communities by creating delicious and nutritious meals made from surplus food for people at risk of food poverty and social isolation – a really worthy cause.
I love this idea and I bet it makes you feel fantastic to be able to do something nice for someone else. I know I love it when I receive something unexpected in the post from a friend or when my husband leaves a £5 note on the table to ‘buy a coffee’ – it makes me smile! I’ll definitely be buying a coffee this week and Paying it Forward. I hope you’ll join me in doing the same?