A growing movement of good deeds is sweeping the nation, as the majority (83%) of Brits have performed an act of kindness in the past year.
A survey commissioned by the British Red Cross revealed the positive effects kindness can have on the public: 94% of people agree that being kind encourages others to pay it forward, and half say when someone is kind to them it makes them feel like they’re cared about.
Of the 2,000 UK adults polled, 41% said they would be willing to give up their time to visit a lonely neighbour in the coming year, while 25% have helped someone who has tripped or fallen in the last year. One in five people have given money or food and drink to someone sleeping rough.
The charity’s research also showed that almost all (97%) of those polled agree that their communities are 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.
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.”
If you’d like to feel inspired, have a read of our Humankind series which celebrates people who have done incredible things for others.
Dr Farsides added: “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.”
The British Red Cross is encouraging people across the UK to show the #PowerOfKindness by sharing the small acts of kindness they do on social media. The charity has released a film, featuring a voiceover from actor Jason Isaacs, which highlights the work done by the charity and showcases how small acts of kindness, which anyone can do, can make a big difference.