AN artist and actress who performed an act of kindness to a stranger every day since August 2011 has come to Stockton.

Bernadette Russell and her fellow actor Gareth Brierley performed a show based on the experience called 366 Days of Kindness at The Arc.

As part of the fun she came a day early with 120 balloons and persuaded Stocktonians to write a message for a complete stranger.

Ms Russell, who has continued performing her daily acts of kindness even after the first 366 days, then went out on Stockton High Street and started distributing them. She said: “I had one person who wrote ‘be a splash of colour,’ which I thought was nice.

“I started the project after the riots around the country in 2011 and there was a nasty feeling around.

“The first thing I did was put £5 inside a book in the library with a note saying, ‘have a treat,’ and another time I made 50 cards, 50 cakes and bought 50 balloons and gave them away on Valentine’s Day.

“But one thing sticks in my mind. A friend’s friend had depression and I heard about it and made him a card and sent it. You don’t normally hear anything back, but this time I had a man come to me about five months later from one of my shows. He said: 'Your card was the beginning of me recovering from depression'.”

Miss Russell also has an art exhibition at The Arc called Dear Stranger, which will run until Friday, May 16.