Riverside Shopping Centre decided to spread the cheer on Monday, which was dubbed the ‘most depressing day of the year’ as festive feelings ebb away and are replaced by stress and anxiety.
To combat the negativity, businesses at the Hemel Hempstead town centre mall offered a total of £250 in £5 vouchers to passing shoppers, as well as pasties, hot chocolates and flowers from Shirley Hall florists.
Centre manager David Robinson, who was on hand to distribute the free pick-me-ups, said: “Our retailers had a great Christmas with some recording as much as a 44 per cent increase in year on year sales. Shoppers in Hemel Hempstead have certainly shown their loyalty to the town, so we thought it was important to do what we could to cheer people up on the most depressing day of the year.
“Just a small act of random kindness is so fulfilling – receiving a smile and a thank you from each and every person certainly made my day.”
The random acts of kindness continued throughout the day as Starbucks, A Real Taste of Cornwall and Chiquen handed out free samples.