The average Brit claims they do 730 good deeds a year – with 56% of them expecting nothing in return

By Richard Jenkins
Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 11:14 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 11:14 am

Among the top acts featured in the top 50 acts of kindness are opening a door for someone, taking in a neighbour’s parcel when they are out and delivering a compliment.

Donating to charity, smiling at a passer-by on the street, letting someone with less shopping jump the queue, giving up your seat on public transport and putting someone else first also feature in the top 10.

Other displays of goodwill include sending virtual hugs, making surprise Zoom calls, cooking or baking for someone without being asked, supporting local food banks and giving away your last piece of chocolate.

Emma Eggleton, spokesperson from Kingsmill, which commissioned the research as part of its Slice of Kindness initiative to encourage people to be kind, said: “We hope that this list of everyday acts of kindness inspires others to be kind.

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    "It shows that even the simplest gestures can have a positive impact on someone’s day.

    "It’s really uplifting to see that people view a favour or a random act of kindness as a habit for life, not just Christmas.”

    The study of 2,000 adults saw other acts in the top 50 list including helping a fellow shopper to reach the top shelf in a store (41 per cent) and checking in on an elderly neighbour (30 per cent).

    Giving way while driving (40 per cent), letting your partner have a lie-in (33 per cent) and writing someone a handwritten letter or card (34 per cent) also appear.

    It also emerged one in 10 Brits said they do four kind acts daily – the equivalent of 1,460 a year - but 15 per cent of those polled said they received zero favours a day.

    This could be explained by the fact that 47 per cent said their acts of kindness were inspired by wanting to help those more vulnerable or less well-off.

    Almost half declared being kind 'helps society at large to spread positivity' and 46 per cent said 'it gives them positive mental health' when someone is kind to them.

    Being kind makes you happy

    Similarly, 59 per cent said they felt happy after carrying out a kind act.

    Nearly half of respondents (47 per cent) also felt the fallout from the Covid pandemic has made them kinder.

    And more than four in 10 believe the crisis has increased their philanthropy as it made them appreciate what they have and increased their awareness that not everyone is as fortunate.

    Overall, faith in humanity was clearly strong, with 64 per cent believing people are generally kind by nature while 44 per cent think kindness can make a positive, lasting difference to someone.

    While 60 per cent of those polled via OnePoll said they were teaching their children to be altruistic too.

    Parents claimed they were schooling youngsters in everything from recycling and not making fun of others, to giving up their seat on public transport for someone who needed it more and donating toys to charity.

    The findings have inspired a new video by Kingsmill showing these everyday acts of kindness in action, with more to follow in the weeks counting down to Christmas.

    Emma Eggleton added: “We’ve been out and about spreading a little cheer ourselves, we’ve given away our very own Kingsmill Christmas jumpers, a year’s supply of bread and we’ve even paid for someone’s weekly shop.

    "Doing right by the nation’s health, our local communities and the planet has always been at the heart of everything Kingsmill does and that’s why we’re putting it first.

    "Supporting Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day; teaming up with Aspire Housing for its annual toy appeal and help fund training for nurses and care-home workers close to our bakeries; these are just some of the ways we’re making a difference. We want everyone to get involved.

    "This is our way of wishing everyone a very merry Christmas packed full of laughter, joy and kindness.”

    Brits' top 50 acts of kindness

    1. Opening a door for someone

    2. Taking in a neighbour’s parcel when they are out

    3. Paying someone a compliment

    4. Donating to charity

    5. Saying hello/smiling at someone in the street

    6. Holding the lift for someone

    7. Letting someone with less shopping jump the check-out queue

    8. Giving up your seat on public transport for someone you felt needed it more

    9. Expressing empathy

    10. Putting someone else’s needs before your own

    11. Helping a fellow shopper reach the top shelf in a store

    12. Giving way while driving when you didn’t need to

    13. Helping someone carry luggage/a pram/parcels

    14. Putting a neighbour’s bin back after rubbish collection

    15. Sharing knowledge with someone who needed it

    16. Giving a lift without expecting payment

    17. Calling a friend/family member just to chat

    18. Treating a colleague/friend to a cuppa/drink

    19. Writing someone a handwritten letter/card

    20. Letting your partner have a lie-in

    21. Saying ‘keep the change’ to staff at a small shop/ your local pub

    22. Making a tea round without being asked

    23. Feeding someone’s pet while they are away

    24. Giving someone your last piece of chocolate

    25. Checking in on an elderly/vulnerable neighbour

    26. Participating in a fundraiser

    27. Wearing/using a gift someone gave you in their presence

    28. Telling someone there was a bit of food in their teeth/make up on their face

    29. Cooking or baking for someone without being asked

    30. Supporting local food banks

    31. Sharing an umbrella with someone when it’s raining

    32. Sending a gift to someone you knew was having a hard time

    33. Going out of your way to reunite an owner with lost valuables/wallet

    34. Treating someone to breakfast in bed

    35. Sharing a good recipe or restaurant recommendation with a friend/co-worker

    36. Bringing food or drink for a homeless person

    37. Thanking a teacher/lecturer with a gift

    38. Paying for someone’s meal at a restaurant

    39. Giving your time to a community cause

    40. Donating Christmas gifts to an orphanage/children’s charity

    41. Running a loved one a warm bath after a hard day’s work

    42. Sending someone a virtual ‘hug’

    43. Babysitting for a neighbour’s/friend’s children for free when they have an emergency

    44. Walking someone’s dog if they were unable due to illness

    45. Wearing a Christmas jumper for charity on Christmas Jumper Day

    46. Writing someone a surprise note to show you care and popping it in their lunch box

    47. Throwing someone a surprise party

    48. Surprising someone with an unexpected video call

    49. Paying for a more vulnerable/less well-off person’s shopping

    50. Thanking a local community ‘superstar’