Strangers around Lancashire have been sending each other anonymous Valentine's Day cards in a bid to tackle loneliness and social isolation in the county.

It was organised by Jess Johnson - a mother of two from Preston who is also behind the "Notes to Preston" project.

These are just some of the thousands of messages Jess has left around Preston. Credit: Notes To Preston/ Instagram

Notes From Preston is a community project where encouraging messages are left in public spaces to break the stigma surrounding mental health, and reach out to people who are potentially in crisis.

Jess came up with the idea after she struggled with post natal depression following the birth of her second child - which became so severe that she tried to take her own life.

I felt like nobody cared for me - but they did. When I started to talk about my struggles other people opened up and said 'I went though that' - and I just thought 'Well, why don't we all speak about it?'

Jess Johnson
Jess says the care she received in a Mother and Baby Unit helped her feel like herself again. Credit: Jess Johnson

Jess has now organised a special Valentine's Day project around her local community, to reach out to people who may be struggling at a difficult time of year.

The card exchange works like a secret santa, with people randomly being assigned a stranger who they'll put a Valentine's Day surprise together for.

This was what Jess put in her card:

Jess says it's a great chance to get back to old fashioned community spirit, and help people feel connected.

Social media posts - they're just not real. But when you get a card, you know that someone's gone to the effort of making or buying it for you. You realise that you're not alone, and there are people out there who care - and there are people out there who are struggling as well. >

Jess Johnson
Jess says she hopes her story can show than mental health can affect anyone. Credit: ITV News

Jess says the response has been "really really positive" and she hopes to repeat it again next year.

  • Video report by Lise Mcnally

Want to get involved next year?

Need some help and support?

  • Mind provides advice and support to help anyone experiencing a mental health problem - you can call them Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm on 0300 123 3393. You can also text them on 86463

  • Samaritans operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year - You can call them 24 hours a day on 116 123

  • Childline is for anyone under 19. They have trained counsellors on hand to help with any problem, at any time. You can call them on 0800 111

  • The Silver Line is a service for older people. They offer information and advice and also have a 'friendship call' service - you can contact them 24 hours a day on 0800 470 80 90.