17 April 2018

Press release - Britain’s Got Kindness: New research shows majority of Brits agree kindness is contagious

Press release

Embargoed 00:01hrs Tuesday 17th April, 2018
For further information
Anthony Barej,  Media Officer, AnthonyBarej@redcross.org.uk 0207 877 7519 / 07719 391703

Zoë Abrams, Executive Director of Communications and Advocacy at the British Red Cross
Dr Tom Farsides, lecturer in Social Psychology at the University of Sussex

Britain’s Got Kindness: New research shows majority of Brits agree kindness is contagious

  • Majority agree (94%) that being kind encourages others to pay it forward 
  • Half of people said when someone is kind to them it makes them feel like people care
  • One in four Brits (25%) have helped someone who has tripped or fallen in the last year
  • Today the British Red Cross is launching a new film showcasing the power of kindness, featuring a voiceover from actor Jason Isaacs

The British Red Cross is encouraging people across the UK to show the Power of Kindness - share your small act of kindness on social media using #PowerOfKindness and visit redcross.org.uk/kindness
New research commissioned by the British Red Cross asked more than 2,000 UK adults about their attitudes and behaviours around kindness. The survey showed that people in the UK believe in the transformative power of simple acts of kindness and the positive impact these can have on communities and individuals in crisis.
The new survey reveals a growing movement of good deeds sweeping the nation, as the majority (83%) of Brits believe they have performed an act of kindness in the last year. Four in 10 (41%) would even be willing to give up their time to visit a lonely neighbour in the coming year as well.
An act of kindness can be simple. Here are more ways people said they had shown kindness to others in the last year:
·         One in four (25%) have helped someone who has tripped or fallen
·         A fifth (19%) have given someone change when they were short
·         One in three (35%) have sponsored someone in the last twelve months who is raising money for charity.
·         One in 5 (18%) have given money or food and drink to someone sleeping rough
·         One in 10 (11%) have helped someone cross the road
·         One in 5 (18%) have helped someone with a pushchair on public transport
·         13% of Brits handed in a valuable item, such as a phone or wallet, they found
The research also shows that kindness is particularly important to people during difficult times. Almost all (97%) agree that their community is stronger when people are kind to one another and that lots of small acts of kindness can have a big impact in an emergency. Nine in 10 (92%) say they appreciate kindness from neighbours and nearly three quarters (74%) think people in their own communities are kind.
The vast majority of people (94%) agree that kindness inspires more kindness and that being on the receiving end of such acts can really make a difference. Half (50%) say when they’ve been on the receiving end of kindness it makes them feel like people care, a third (33%) feel happier and less worried and, for over a quarter (27%), it gives them a sense of solidarity that helps them feel less alone.  Three in four (75%) agree that when someone is kind, it makes them more attractive.
The British Red Cross sees the power of kindness every day – responding to emergencies on our own doorstep and overseas. Through the Red Cross people can share their kindness to help others in crisis, such as learning first aid to help someone in need or giving a small amount of time to volunteer. Volunteering can be as easy as signing up to be a Community Reserve Volunteer to respond when an emergency hits your local community, to checking in on a vulnerable neighbour.
The film launching today highlights the work done by the Red Cross in the UK and it showcases how small of kindness acts, which anyone can do, can make a big difference. It was shot in Manchester using real volunteers from the British Red Cross to help depict the challenging and rewarding work they do.
Zoë Abrams, Executive Director of Communications and Advocacy at the British Red Cross, said:
“Day in and day out our staff and volunteers see that even small acts of kindness can make a big difference to people in crisis.
“There are many ways people can be kind with the Red Cross, whether that’s through sharing time by volunteering, supporting our work with donations, learning how to save a life with our first aid teams, or sharing their unique talents or skills.
“We want to support people to do more kind acts, no matter how small, because these little things can make a world of difference.”
Dr Tom Farsides, kindness expert and Lecturer in Social Psychology at the University of Sussex, said:
“The power of kindness should not be underestimated. Research shows that people like being kind and often relish opportunities to help others. People also like seeing others being kind and often feel inspired when they see wonderful things done by organisations like the Red Cross and the people who support them.
“Most of us really do want the world to be a nice place and truly appreciate those who help to make it better.
“People can also derive all sorts of benefits themselves when they are kind, especially when they help mainly because they want to make things better for others. The ‘helper’s high’ is a real thing.
“When harnessed to its full potential, kindness can act as a wave throughout a community, with positive effects for all.”
Britain’s most common kind act is to hold the door open for someone (75%), followed by giving someone directions when they’re lost (50%), sending a card or letter to let someone know you’re thinking of them (37%) and offering up their seat on public transport (28%).
The charity is inviting the public to share their kind acts on social media with the hashtag #PowerOfKindness and see if they can inspire others to take a moment do something kind.
To find out more about how your kindness can make a big difference visit www.redcross.org.uk/kindness
Notes to editors
1)    The findings come from an online survey of 2,005 adults in the UK conducted by Opinium, in April 2018.
2)    The following findings also emerged from the survey:
·         97% agree that small acts of kindness can make the world a better place.
·         97% also said kindness can achieve more when lots of people pull together.
·         83% said they would trust the British Red Cross to encourage people to use simple acts of kindness to help each other.
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives. We believe in the power of kindness. That’s why we connect those who’ve got kindness to share, to those who need it most, every day.
Anthony Barej
Media officer
British Red Cross
T: 0207 448 4446
M: 07850 649 046
E: AnthonyBarej@RedCross.org.uk