Study finds an estimated 43 million people across the UK have shown acts of kindness during lockdown

According to research* carried out by the British Red Cross, an estimated 43 million people across the UK have done something kind to help others.

Whether it be from 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.

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

The advertising space was kindly donated to the British Red Cross to offer thanks to the outpouring of kindness across the UK.

Almost 80,000 people signed up to volunteer with the British Red Cross and to offer support to some of the most vulnerable people during the crisis and millions more have been performing incredible acts of kindness in their communities. 

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.”

Some of these wonderful actions have included 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. 

One volunteer, Emmanuel Cudjoe from Bromley, told British Red Cross why he’s been inspired to help in these unprecedented times, delivering food, medicine and supporting refugees facing extreme poverty.

Emmanuel Cudjoe (pictured) is one of almost 80,000 who have signed up to help volunteer for the British Red Cross during the coronavirus pandemic. (Matt Crossick/British Red Cross)

He said: “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.” 

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. 

Zoë Abrams added: “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.”

To learn more you can visit their website.

*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.

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