(un)kind Britain? Does the Good Samaritan live on in Modern Britain?

  • Only half of us (55%) would stop and approach an older lady that we saw crying in the street, to try and comfort  them
  • 1 in 5 of us remember a time we needed help in a public place and no-one has stopped
  • 2 in 3 adults (64%) and nearly 3 in 5 (57%) of children aged 8 to 15 are worried Britain is becoming a less kind society
  • Nearly a third (32%) of children said being educated about the parable of the Good Samaritan will help create a kinder Britain
  • Secret filming on the streets of Reading puts kindness to the test

8th March 2016: A nationwide study published today reveals a call for a kinder Britain by adults and children.

The YouGov research is released today in a report by Bible Society which looks at the role of the Good Samaritan in modern Britain.

The findings show, for British adults and children aged 8 to 15:

When tested, the majority of us wouldn’t show kindness to a stranger

  • Adults in Great Britain are prepared to spend a maximum of 5 minutes (36%) of their time giving someone directions, whilst 25% would not spend any money helping a stranger who needed money for a train ticket.
  • 1 in 5 of us remember a time we needed help in a public place and no-one has stopped.
  • Just over 1 in 3 (35%) of us wouldn’t lend a mobile phone to anyone, even on a list of profiles that includes options like an elderly lady.
  • Just over half of us (55%) would stop if we saw an older lady crying in the street to try and comfort them.
  • 1 in 4 of us wouldn’t give a stranger money for a train ticket home. 

Adults and children are worried about kindness in Britain

  • Just under two in three adults (64%) are worried Britain is becoming a less kind society. Nearly 3 in 5 of children feel the same (57%).
  • 9 in 10 kids (89%), and a similar proportion of adults (86%), think Britain would benefit if people were more willing to help each other.

How to create a kinder Britain

  • 16% of adults and 18% of kids aren’t sure what we could do to make Britain kinder.
  • 42% of children feel getting to know our neighbours would help make a kinder Britain. Nearly half of adults (49%) feel the same.
  • Half of adults (49%) think more positive events and stories in the media would help build a kinder Britain.

People think the Good Samaritan is important for a kinder Britain…

  • For 1 in 3 men and nearly half of women (46%) think education in schools about the Good Samaritan parable and its relevance will help build a kinder society.
  • For 1 in 3 children (32%), the same is true.
  • 30% of adults and 1 in 5 kids (19%) think education in communities about the relevance of the Good Samaritan story would encourage kindness in Britain.

...but won’t necessarily pass it on:

  • 70% of adults know the story however only a third of parents have actively passed it on to their children.
  • Older parents are the most likely of any age group to have passed on the story to their children. 27% of parents over the age of 55 have read the story to their children. This compares to just 12% of parents aged 35-44.
  • Half of adults aged 55 or older believe in the importance of knowing the story to help make a kinder Britain, however this declines to just a quarter (27%) of 18-24 year olds.

Speaking about the findings, Paul Woolley, Interim Chief Executive of Bible Society said: “Our research indicates that for many people, regardless of personal faith, the Bible's engaging and timeless stories have meaning and significance today.

“Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan operates at two levels. It is a spectacular invitation to a life of self-giving that insists we roll up our sleeves and help no matter what it takes. It also challenges us to recognise that there are no limits to our neighbourhood or neighbourliness. It demands that even those who are hated and feared are to be seen as our neighbours.

“Cultures are shaped by the stories we tell. Our Pass it On campaign is about encouraging people to pass the Bible on to future generations. Stories likes the Good Samaritan can help us build a kinder Britain. We want to see everyone value the Bible for themselves, their families and communities.”

Taking to the streets of Reading, Bible Society put kindness to the test with secret filming.

Reverend Sam King, Calne Baptist Church, was helped when he asked to borrow people’s phone when wearing his dog collar. When dressed as a rough sleeper, he was disregarded. Actors playing an older lady, a man having his wallet stolen and a Syrian refugee also created opportunities for Britain to show how kind they are with various outcomes.

The report, “The Good Samaritan in Modern Britain” released today is part of Bible Society’s ‘Pass It On’ campaign. Launched in 2014, the campaign is designed to ensure classic Bible stories are kept alive for future generations. 

ENDS

For more information please contact: hollie.conway@portland-communications.com or 02075541810

Notes to Editors

Please find photos here: https://goo.gl/photos/GACQvbdk8nsbZDG69

Embed codes for the video

BS Good Samaritan Sam (short)

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BS Good Samaritan Sam (long)

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BS Good Samaritan Biscuit Wallet Refugee (short) <iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/158000463" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>

BS Society Good Samaritan Biscuit Wallet Refugee (long) <iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/157999317" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,052 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th - 7th December 2015.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 745 children. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th - 9th December 2015.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted by age, gender and region and are representative of all GB children (aged 8 to 15).

Read the parable of the Good Samaritan on our website.

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