Is this the world’s first shop to pay via kindness?

Is this the world’s first shop to pay via kindness?

By Jill Dando News

Maybe this is the kinda shop that will become a thing of the future.

The world’s first shop where luxury items could be bought with a little bit of kindness has been featured across Britain.

It gave a huge boost to The Cumberland Building Society’s campaign to underline its commitment to kinder banking.

Intro PR and Social Media.The Kinder Shop brought to you by The Cumberland on Paternoster road in Carlisle. Pay by kindness donating time to local projects. 22nd June 2022Photograph Jonathan Becker

Shoppers chancing upon the Kinder Shop which appeared for one day in Dumfries, Carlisle and then Kendal were amazed to find that BBQs, hampers and other items such as garden furniture could be ‘bought’ by promising to spend time volunteering with local charities.

A price tag on each item indicated the amount of time needed to ‘pay’ for the items.

The campaign secured over 1100 hours of volunteering for 27 charities and generated coverage across national and local media.

The Kinder Shop - Dumfries. Shoppers in Dumfries were able to ÔpayÕ for items by promising to volunteer at one of a number of local charities Photos by ©Stuart Nicol Photography 2022

As well as generating volunteer hours, the campaign also garnered significant press coverage with features in two national newspapers including a page in The Sun, nine radio features and three minutes on ITV. Local coverage included the Westmorland Gazette, The Cumberland News, and Dumfries Standard.

Visitors to the shop raved about it on social media and one video received 158,000 views on TikTok.


The project aimed to highlight The Cumberland Building Society’s commitment to kinder banking - being kinder to customers, the planet and its communities - The Kinder Shop tempted the public off the street and got them talking about volunteering.

The concept was created by Carlisle based PR agency Intro.
Director Helen Statham said: “We wanted to create something that was unique and really demonstrated what The Cumberland’s commitment to kindness is all about.

“The response from the public was fantastic and we were blown away by how many people pledged volunteer hours, meaning the campaign will make a concrete difference to the communities The Cumberland serves.”

The Cumberland is based in Carlisle with branches in 34 locations across Cumbria, Lancashire, Northumberland and South West Scotland, and this isn’t the first time they’ve proved their kind credentials, with 1.5% of their profits totalling £188,000 in 2021-22 being donated to good causes.


Phil Ward, Brand and PR Manager at The Cumberland, added: “We’re delighted with The Kinder Shop and the boost it's given to our kinder banking campaign that kicks off this summer.

“At The Cumberland we really do believe that kinder banking can be a reality and so we decided to put our money where our mouth is and, with the help of Intro, we’ve proved that and given charities a real boost in the process.”

Tullie House, one of the charities involved in the project, described it as the ‘most innovative idea in volunteering in 25 years’.

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