The UK public has been showing more kindness to one another as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, a newly commissioned study from Christian Aid shows. The poll, conducted by Savanta ComRes, shows a significant increase in the number of people who are reaching out to strangers and offering help to those in need.
The poll, which surveyed 2,090 UK adults online between 4th and 6th December 2020, found that 27 per cent were writing more notes to people they don’t see often, and 25 per cent are saying hello to strangers in the street more than they did before.
In addition, the poll found that people have more compassion for what is going on overseas, with two fifths (41 per cent) of the public saying they worry about what is happening in the world more than before the Covid crisis, compared to just nine per cent who say they worry less. When broken into age categories, 18 to 24-year-olds showed the highest percentage of increased worry at 46 per cent, compared to 45 to 54-year-olds at 37 per cent.
Chine McDonald, Christian Aid’s Head of Community Fundraising and Public Engagement, responded to the poll's findings:
“Many of us will be glad to see the back of 2020. We have all experienced the devastating effects of the pandemic, not been able to see loved ones, and faced restrictions that have put limits on our lives on and off throughout the year. But our survey shows these difficult experiences have had some positive impact on the levels of compassion that people feel as we head towards Christmas.
“Christmas is a time of goodwill to all, so it’s not surprising to see that people are thinking about their neighbours. But it’s encouraging to see they are thinking not just about their neighbours near, but their neighbours far, too. Coronavirus has exacerbated poverty both here and around the world where many of the world’s poorest and most marginalised communities are struggling with multiple crises such as war, health and economic inequalities and extreme weather conditions, as well as the pandemic.
“We wait with hope to see if these increased levels of awareness are reflected in our Christmas appeal, helping families in Ethiopia where conflict, climate change, locusts and coronavirus are a deadly combination for one of the poorest countries in Africa.”