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Acts of Kindness

Throughout the pandemic, wonderful stories of people doing kind things for friends, family, neighbours and even complete strangers spread across the country – much like the kindness itself.

More recently, we stumbled upon an article by Adrian Chiles, sharing his own heart-warming experience a kind gesture from a stranger, which happened to him whilst travelling by train. With upwards of 387million passengers said to have travelled via train in the UK alone this year, it got us thinking about all these stories of good deeds that go untold, some of which we’re sure have happened onboard Grand Central trains.

And so, with World Kindness Day fast approaching (13th November), we are eager to highlight the charitable deeds being done by Brits, and how frequently these were happening across the UK, and so we surveyed 2,000 UK adults to find out more.

A Nation of Do-Gooders

Our survey highlighted that Brits are certainly a very kind nation, with 9 out of 10 (91%) UK adults doing at least one ‘good deed’ (with no expectation of thanks or reward) in the past year. In fact, nearly half of those we surveyed were found to have done something unexpectedly kind for someone in the past week (44%), and a further fifth (20%) say they have done so in the past two weeks.

Just a small minority (8%) could not recall when they had last gone out of their way to perform a good deed for someone. Sadly, twice that number (16%) shared that they could not remember the last time someone did something kind with them either.

More positively, we found that nearly half (40%) of the nation have been at the receiving end of an act of kindness in at least the past week, and in total, upwards of eight in ten of those we spoke to (82%) could recall someone doing a random act of kindness that benefited them over the past year.

The Nation’s Favourite Deeds

From offering to help someone with heavy bags, or treating a friend to a coffee and asking them about their day, sometimes, all it takes is the smallest of good deeds to make someone smile. However, it seems there are a few kind acts that cause the nation’s smile to grow even wider!

Whether you’re a regular ‘do-gooder’ and are in search of some fresh ideas to brighten someone’s day, or you are simply looking for some inspiration to assist you in kickstarting some new ‘do-gooder’ habits, we’ve found out what deeds are most gratefully received.

For those in search of some ‘do-gooder’ inspiration, Grand Central also quizzed Brits about the random acts of kindness they value the most. Above all else, an unexpected compliment was found to be the favourite act of kindness across the nation (48%).

Other charitable deeds favoured by the nation included being thanked for help given (30%), being let in front of someone in a queue for the bus (30%), having the door held open for them (27%), being treated to a hot drink or food item unexpectedly (27%), and seeing someone do something nice for others such as helping the homeless, donating to charity etc. (26%).

 

A fifth of those surveyed (21%) said that being offered a seat on a busy train or bus was the kind deed most likely to make them smile.

The UK’s Most Favoured Act of Kindness

%

Being given an unexpected compliment

48%

Being thanked for your help or support of another person

30%

Someone letting you in front of them in line at the shops/on public transport

30%

Having the door held open for you

27%

Someone treating you to a hot drink/food item

27%

Seeing someone do a charitable act for other (e.g., helping a homeless person)

26%

Someone offering to help with your bag(s) or suitcase

25%

Another driver letting you merge in front of them in busy traffic

25%

Receiving an unexpected text asking you “How are you?” / “How was your day?”

24%

Someone helping you when you're lost

24%

Being sent a card or package from a friend or family member for no specific occasion or reason

23%

Someone catching up with you to give you the item you've dropped/left behind

22%

Being given a seat on a crowded bus or train

22%

Being baked a surprise cake for your birthday

21%

Someone paying your bill at a restaurant / bar

20%

Being given flowers for no specific occasion or reason

20%

Being made / brought dinner by a friend

20%

Being given a pay and display ticket with time left on it by another driver

19%

Being offered a lift by a friend / family member

19%

Someone helping you up if you trip over

17%


A Competition Filled with Kindness

In order to celebrate those around us who have gone out of their way to make us smile and to make life just that little bit brighter, we’d like to help spread the love with an exciting competition.

We’re on the hunt for unexpected acts of kindness that have taken place on our trains (or beyond) over the past year. To be in with a chance of winning a prize of two first-class Grand Central Rail tickets for any journey on our trains* as well as a £100 Love2Shop voucher, there are some key steps you must follow:

 

  • Nominate the person who did something nice for you unexpectedly whilst traveling across the UK - you can even nominate yourself if you like
  • Entry must be made via the entry form below.
  • Entrants must reveal a little bit about why the person they’re nominating deserves to win.
  • Entrants can submit an optional image to support their entry if they’d like. 
  • The entry form opens on Monday 8th November at 10am, and all entries must be submitted before midnight on the Friday 26th November 2021, or else they will not be counted.  
  • There is one prize available which consists of 2x First Class Grand Central Rail tickets for any journey with Grand Central Rail and 1x £100 Love2Shop voucher.
  • Travel can only be made on a Grand Central service on a Grand Central route and is not available on trains with any other provider.
  • Tickets will be sent out within 7 days of the competition ending and will expire within 12 months.
  • The winner must reside at a UK address only.
  • No cash or voucher alternative is available. 
    Full T&Cs are below!

 

Good luck to all those who enter.  

 

Conclusion

It’s wonderful to see that kindness is widespread across the UK, even if many of us may are unaware of the small acts of charity that are taking place around us every day. Whether it’s giving up your seat on a crowded train, offering to help someone who’s struggling with their bags, or even dropping a friend a text to make sure they’re doing okay, there are plenty of little things you can do that can mean the world to someone else.
 

After such a turbulent couple of years, we really hope that through launching our competition, we help to showcase some of the wonderful ‘do-gooders’ out there and pay homage to these folks who simply wanted to do something kind for another human being. In turn, we hope to inspire others to look out for those who may need a little boost to brighten their day.

 

With World Kindness Day fast approaching, we hope to encourage the nation to do something nice for a friend, loved one, or stranger, and we’re think our research truly helps to highlight that doing something kind for others really doesn’t have to mean a big gesture, and in fact, something as small as paying a friend, colleague, neighbour, family member, or even stranger a compliment, can make a big difference to their day.

For those entering our competition, we want to wish you the best of luck from the team at Grand Central, we’re looking forward to reading the stories you share with us.

 

* There is one prize available which consists of 2x First Class Grand Central Rail tickets for any journey with Grand Central Rail and 1x £100 Love2Shop voucher.

Travel can only be made on a Grand Central service on a Grand Central route and is not available on trains with any other provider. Tickets will be sent out within 7 days of the competition ending and will expire within 12 months. The winner must reside at a UK address only. No cash or voucher alternative is available. 

 

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