04 May 2020

British Red Cross thanks the nation, as an estimated 43 million people across the country have shown acts of kindness during lockdown

British Red Cross volunteer, Emmanuel Cudjoe, 50, from Bromley, South East London looks up at theBritish Red Cross billboard at Piccadilly Square on the route to his volunteer shift with the Red Cross

British Red Cross volunteer, Emmanuel Cudjoe, looks up at the kindness billboard on route to his volunteer shift (Photo - Matt Crossick)

  • British Red Cross takes over iconic Piccadilly Circus landmark to thank the nation for their kindness
  • Emmanuel Cudjoe, 50, from Bromley, South East London looks up at the billboard on the route to his volunteer shift with the Red Cross 
  • Be it volunteering their time, checking in on a vulnerable neighbour or phoning a loved one – the UK has stepped up during the lockdown to show small acts of kindness are powerful  

Since the beginning of lockdown*, an estimated 43 million people across the UK reveal they have done something kind to help others, according to research carried out by the British Red Cross.

To say thank you to this incredible number of people, the British Red Cross has taken over the iconic Piccadilly Circus billboard, illuminating the West End of London. 

There has been an outpouring of kindness across the UK; with almost 80,000 people signing up to volunteer with the British Red Cross and supporting some of the most vulnerable people during the crisis. Millions more have been performing incredible acts of kindness in their communities. 

Some of these wonderful actions include handwritten letters to friends and family, providing icing sugar and flour to a neighbour to make a birthday cake, and children drawing pictures to stick to their wheelie bins to cheer up refuse collectors. Someone even went through their entire address book and called anyone they thought could be lonely. 

Recently, British Red Cross volunteer, Emmanuel Cudjoe from Bromley, London (pictured) has delivered vital supplies of food and essentials to the homes of vulnerable refugees in Hackney. 

In front of the Piccadilly lights, Emmanuel explains why he’s been inspired to volunteer and help in these unprecedented times, delivering food, medicine and supporting refugees facing extreme poverty:

“I’m volunteering whenever I can really – evenings, weekends and early mornings. There’s no point waiting until after Covid-19 and thinking ‘oh I could have done more’ when it’s too late. There are people out there who are really struggling – people have told me they can’t access the basic supplies they need to stay alive and that’s absolutely devastating. It’s important that we come together to show kindness, because I’ve seen how small actions can make a big impact on the lives of so many people.” 

Zoë Abrams, Executive Director at the British Red Cross, said: 

“We want to say thank you to every single person who has shown kindness during this difficult time. We hope to inspire others across the UK to thank the people in their lives, too.  Because whilst this virus may keep us apart, kindness will keep us together.

“For 150 years, the British Red Cross has helped the nation through its darkest days and coronavirus is no exception. We are focussed on supporting the most vulnerable people through this crisis by delivering food and medicine, making sure refugees and people seeking asylum are safe, and supporting the NHS to get patients home from hospital.  It’s thanks to the extraordinary kindness of our volunteers, supporters and partners that we have been able to continue our vital work during this time.”

The charity is calling on the public to send their own message of thanks to someone who has shown kindness to them, either by picking up the phone, or sending a message on social media #PowerOfKindness. 

The advertising space was kindly donated to the British Red Cross. 

To give help or to get help go to: redcross.org.uk


For more information or pictures: 

Notes to editor

  •  *Online survey of 2,000 UK adults carried out by Opinium for the British Red Cross between 28 – 30 April 2020. 83% UK adults (18+) said they had competed a kind act from a list. 
  • 83% of adult population 52,383,000 = 43 million UK adults. 
  • The advertising space was donated by Landsec

British Red Cross

For over 150 years, the British Red Cross has helped people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. The British Red Cross enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities; and when the crisis is over, help them recover and move on with their lives.  www.redcross.org.uk  

Thanking the nation as an estimated 43 million people have shown kindness during lockdown