A summary of recent research on everyday help and kindness

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Author: Ilona Haslewood

Year: 2016

How Does Kindness Happen And What Might Help To Encourage Such Supportive Relationships?


A smile and ‘good morning’ in passing, taking in a parcel, sitting down and listening over a cup of tea, giving a lift, or babysitting for someone once a week… small acts of help and kindness and the relationships that are formed through these play an important role in making our lives ‘liveable’. As such, they are an essential – if often overlooked – part of the social, emotional and practical infrastructure of daily life. While they tap into wider, long-standing societal concerns about trust, kindness, generosity, solidarity and the common good, surprisingly little is known about how exactly they come to happen and what might help to encourage (or constrain) such supportive relationships. This paper summarises learning from a body of recent Joseph Rowntree Foundation research.

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