The kindness of strangers?

A recent report by the Joseph Rowntree Trust has given the ASTF Learning and Support team some food for thought. The research looked at how people are embedded in communities according to the amount of random and low level support they get from all the people around them. In other words, how people are affected by the kindness of strangers. What they found was that small, almost incidental acts of kindness as well as truly altruistic acts, made people feel more included in their communities and more likely to ask for help. For example, they conclude that trust is  – “slow to build and, equally, could be quick to dissipate” but that little acts of kindness help to glue this together. We really recommend the report as with all JRF work it is very well written and inspiring. But turning to partnerships, we know from the feedback we have had from the partnerships that trust is crucial to advice giving- between services and their clients, but also between partners. We would be really interested to hear from you about those small kindnesses or generosity which have helped you in your work – often these are not the things that get counted or evaluated but as the report shows, can make all the difference. And if you don’t send us anything, the kitten gets it…

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