Brighton named one of the most community-spirited cities in the UK

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The Covid-19 pandemic has been tough on many but the community spirit of Brighton and Hove has put it on the map. Found to be some of the most willing to lend a hand in the UK, residents in Brighton can be proud of the way they have come together to support the NHS and the most vulnerable during this crisis.

Brighton and Cardiff residents found to be doing the most ‘good deeds’

Author: Laura Ferguson

A study commissioned by Just Eat has found that residents in Brighton and Cardiff are the most community-spirited in the UK. The research was commissioned by Just Eat after the successful Super Hero Sunday initiative that has raised nearly £700,000 in just three Sundays, with a goal to reach £1 million; 20% of the money from any orders placed on a Sunday until the 24th May are automatically donated to NHS and key worker charities. 

The survey of 2,000 adults studied the good deeds carried out across UK communities during the Coronavirus pandemic, and the results were encouraging. Cardiff had the highest proportion of those doing good deeds for neighbours at 73% of those surveyed. In Brighton, 69% of adults were happy to help others with good deeds, compared with 67% in London and Southampton. 

The positive results were a national trend, with 60% of people claiming they had gone over and above to help another resident nearby and 49% feeling they have made positive contribution to their community during the pandemic. 

Community support

During the Coronavirus pandemic, the demand for food banks has spiked, as more and more people are feeling the strain of the resulting economic hardship. Brighton and Hove residents have been selflessly working to support those in need with many donating to and volunteering at local food banks. 

Whitehawk Food Bank, Craven Vale Food Bank and the Bristol Estate Food Hub have experienced an increase in demand. The Whitehawk Food Bank saw demand quadruple over the last few weeks. However, this increased demand has been met with many more residents volunteering to cook food and make deliveries to local residents. 

The Brighton and Hove Food Partnership has been indispensable during this crisis, supporting the local community with initiatives to supply healthy meals to the most vulnerable. In March, the non-profit organisation launched an urgent appeal to help isolated and vulnerable people during the pandemic, and has raised almost £43,000 through their Hungry at Home appeal to supply those in need with the essentials.

Nancy Platts, Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, expressed her gratitude for the work that the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership have been carrying out:

“I want to thank the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, who have been working with the council, residents and partner organisations to set up a network of food hubs, working with existing food banks to keep the city fed through the pandemic.”

The charity has not only provided a support network for those most affected by Covid-19 economic difficulties but has also given many residents the opportunity to connect with others whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Support for the NHS

It goes without saying that our NHS staff have been working tirelessly through this crisis and Brighton and Hove residents have found ways to show their appreciation. Buzz Bingo offered up its car park to Royal Sussex County Hospital Staff in March for 24/7 use on a first-come-first-served basis. Designed to relieve pressure on hospital parking during this crisis and mitigate external stress for NHS workers, this initiative has been a welcome act of community spirit.

Many other Brighton and Hove businesses have also introduced initiatives to support NHS staff; Curry Leaf Café not only gives NHS workers 10% off their online shop, but also uses 10% of its “Curry Leaf Café at Home” sales for the provision of free meals for hospital staff. Many local supermarkets introduced NHS-only slots, restaurants have been offering NHS discount and BTN BikeShare was made free for Brighton and Hove NHS staff.

Strong community connection will last

The wonderful acts of kindness witnessed in Brighton and Hove have awoken a new spirit amongst local communities, where people have come together in unprecedented times to support each other. Times are tough, but with such selfless individuals working together to offer support to the vulnerable, things seem a little lighter. The national sentiment surrounding community investment has shifted and the coming together of people we have seen in the last few months will create a legacy that will last beyond this crisis. 

 

Featured Image: © Margaux Bellott

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