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Helpful Britons give up nearly 10,000 hours over their lives to help others

The average Briton gives up nearly 10,000 hours of their time to help others over the course of their lifetime, according to a study.

People typically donate three hours every week to help others, from shopping for neighbours to getting involved in community projects, a poll of 2,000 people found.

This adds up to more than 13 months over the course of a lifetime.

More than a third (36%) buy items for a food bank in their community, while three in 10 spend time with the elderly or people who feel lonely.

It also emerged the average adult does 16 things a month to help others, such as donating money to charity and helping out at the local school.

The study, commissioned by British Gas, also found 55% of Brits have given up more of their time for others than usual in the last few months, in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

And of those, nearly two-thirds plan to keep doing so even when life returns to normal.

Simon Evans is one of more than 1,700 British Gas engineers who’ve volunteered for foodbanks across the country since March, delivering over 2,000 tonnes of food to those in need as part of the energy and home services provider’s partnership with the Trussell Trust.

Simon said: “The pandemic has had an enormous impact on all of our lives and having lost two members of my own family to Covid-19, I know just how devastating this virus can be.

“It’s been amazing to see people from all walks of life change their attitudes towards volunteering, as people have put their own needs aside to help others, in lockdown and beyond.

“Along with many of my colleagues, I’ve been hugely privileged to offer the Trussell Trust my support, and it’s given me a real purpose during the crisis.

"I’m so proud that we’ve delivered the equivalent of four million meals to those in need.

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“I’ve built some great relationships with people at the food banks and I’m keen to continue with my volunteering work in the future.”

A quarter of those who have given up their time during the pandemic admitted it has made them feel humbled, while 27% said it has put a smile on their face.

Almost three quarters (74%) also feel more appreciative of the many key workers who they previously took for granted.

The study, conducted via Onepoll, found that when it comes to volunteering for a good cause, 25% of Brits could see themselves doing work in the community such as working in a charity shop.

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