Oxford has been named the kindest city in the UK, according to a study.

A national poll of 2,000 adults asked them to rate their hometown when it comes to friendliness, good deeds and community spirit, with the university city coming out on top.

Just over two-thirds of Oxonians also felt the city excelled in being sociable, while over half deemed it charitable and supportive.

Belfast, which came second in the list, was considered helpful by 42 per cent of its residents, while half of those from third-placed Brighton feel their hometown is friendly.

Commissioned by Babybel, the research is part of a wider campaign in partnership with Comic Relief, to encourage everyday heroism and small acts of kindness.

TV personalities Sam Thompson and Pete Wicks took to the streets of Oxford to get to know its residents a bit better and find out if it really lives up to its name.

This Red Nose Day, the French cheese brand is celebrating little gestures, by sharing fun and inspiring ways to raise money for the charity, in addition to making a 5p donation from every pack.

A spokesman for Babybel said: “It’s been really interesting to find out which city has officially been crowned the kindest.

“And also, how the nation rates their hometown for attributes such as helpfulness and being charitable. It’s lovely to know that these things are still abundant amongst communities across the UK.”

Across the UK, strangers opening doors (28 per cent), being said ‘good morning’ to in the street (27 per cent), and a neighbour taking a parcel in when they’re not home (26 per cent), are the kind acts people regularly encounter in their hometown.

The study also found nearly half (44 per cent) of adults wouldn’t want to live anywhere else than their hometown, with 32 per cent choosing to live where they do because of its kindness.

Nearly three in ten often visit other cities and think they don’t seem as ‘kind and caring’ as their own.

It emerged the average adult carries out two acts of kindness a day, with two-thirds feeling happy when they’ve done their bit.

For 43 per cent, their main motivation for being kind is because it makes them feel good, while almost half believe it helps society at large and everyone should do it.

And nearly four in ten feel the need to help others more vulnerable than themselves.

A quarter see their mum as a hero, while 23 per cent consider their dad and partner to be the heroic figures in their life.

The study, conducted via OnePoll, also revealed the top characteristics a hero should have - including selflessness (41 per cent), kindness (41 per cent) and courage (40 per cent).

The Babybel spokesman added: “The phrase ‘hero’ often refers to someone who has done something on a substantial scale - but the pandemic has made us revaluate this and appreciate the everyday acts of heroism happening around us.

“Through selfless actions, community spirit, and small acts of kindness, we can all find our way to becoming a hero.”

Babybel has so far raised over £1.5 million for Comic Relief - to find out how you can get involved, visit their website.


1. Oxford
2. Belfast
3. Brighton
4. Glasgow
5. Edinburgh
6. Liverpool
7. Newcastle
8. Cambridge
9. Birmingham
10. Norwich


1. Selflessness
2. Kindness
3. Courage
4. Bravery
5. Self-sacrifice
6. Honesty
7. Moral integrity
8. Helpful
9. Generosity
10. Inspirational
11. Charitable
12. Determination
13. Strength
14. Protective
15. Conviction

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