This is officially the kindest city in Britain

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Amy Lewis

A new survey has set about ranking British cities from Belfast to Birmingham in order of their overall ‘kindness’, and the results are in:

Bristol is officially the kindest city in all the land.

Researchers at The Co-op Food asked 4,000 adults in 19 UK cities questions about community-minded they are, and whether or not they’d be willing to rush to the aid of someone in need.

The results showed that random acts of kindness are far more likely to happen in Bristol rather than London or Liverpool, and that the West Country city is home to the highest number of ‘good eggs’.

Colourful harbourside houses in Bristol

Colourful harbourside houses in Bristol

Belfast and Aberdeen came second and third in the overall ranking. Southampton, Cardiff, Bradford, Oxford, Manchester, Coventry and Norwich completed the top 10.

It’s not great news for Londoners however, since the capital came in at last place, alongside Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham and Leeds all falling into bottom spots too.

Good deeds included helping somebody who’s lost, chasing after somebody who has dropped something in street to return it, and giving up a seat on the bus or train for somebody less able to stand.

Simply seeing somebody in need was the main reason behind the participants' good deeds, while others cited a belief in ‘good karma’ or wanting to make someone smile.

Helping lost tourists

Helping somebody who’s lost and giving up a seat on the bus or train were two of the most common kind acts

Among the reasons people gave for not helping out, more than one in 10 people said they would be worried that it might ‘look weird’, despite 35 per cent of participants revealing that they had themselves been in a situation where they needed help, only to receive none.

A surprising 26 per cent of people said they had been left to dust themselves off without help or a kind word after taking a tumble in public space, while a further 27 per cent said they had struggled to find help from passersby after breaking down in their car.

People aged 18 to 24 were revealed as the group most likely to perform a random act of kindness, with allowing somebody to jump the queue in an emergency one of the most common.

“Showing kindness isn't always about the big gestures but can be about the small everyday deeds that people do - from offering your seat on the bus to helping a neighbour by accepting their post or putting their bins out,” says Amanda Jennings, director of marketing at The Co-op.

The kindest cities in Britain

  1. Bristol
  2. Belfast
  3. Aberdeen
  4. Southampton
  5. Cardiff
  6. Bradford
  7. Oxford
  8. Manchester
  9. Coventry
  10. Norwich
  11. Sheffield
  12. Nottingham
  13. York
  14. Edinburgh
  15. Leeds
  16. Birmingham
  17. Liverpool
  18. Glasgow
  19. London

Main image: Balloons in summer at Bristol Balloon Fiesta
Images: iStock


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Amy Lewis

Amy Lewis is a freelance writer and editor, a lover of strong tea, equally strong eyebrows, a collector of facial oils and a cat meme enthusiast. She covers everything from beauty and fashion to feminism and travel.

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