New research reveals the most thoughtful places in the UK

Son with surprise for mother

We can all look back on the last 6 months and admire the level of community spirit that we’ve seen in the UK, and across the globe. Friends, families, neighbours and strangers have all gone out of their way to help one another.

Although every community has certainly done their bit in one way or another, is there one place that stands out when it comes to giving back?

Coinciding with their Thoughtfulness Movement, Bloom & Wild, the British inventors of letterbox flowers, have investigated which places in the UK are the most thoughtful.

To identify where the most thoughtful places are in the country, Bloom & Wild compared the opportunities to give back to the community in five areas for every location. These areas were: number of registered charities, number of volunteering opportunities, number of community gardening schemes, recycling rate and electric car ownership.

After identifying the number of opportunities, they were divided in relation to each location’s population size, then the score was normalised to give a ranking out of 100. An average was then taken to identify which places in the UK are the most thoughtful. And the results are in.

The research revealed that the most thoughtful places in the UK is…

Swindon! With an overall score of 79 out of 100, Swindon, in the Wiltshire, has proven to house a super thoughtful bunch of people. Nearby neighbours Bath and Oxford came a close joint second with a score of 78/10.

Best places to work with charities

The places with the most charities in the UK (per person) are Bedford, with almost 1,300. In second place, we find ourselves in Scotland, with Edinburgh home to almost 3,000 charities. Other places that fill our top 5 are Bath, Wokingham, and Gateshead.

Best places for volunteering

Head up to the Lake District’s biggest city Carlisle, to find the place with the most volunteering opportunities per person. Other locations great for UK volunteering include Burnley in Lancashire, Cheltenham and Gloucester, in the South West.

Highest density of Community Gardening Schemes

With 15 community gardening schemes, Truro, in Cornwall has the highest density of community gardening schemes in the country. The next best locations for green fingers are Blackpool, Rochdale, Sevenoaks and Exeter.

Highest recycling rates

Recycling is an enormous part of our everyday lives and something all of us should take really seriously, and it’s clear that one country in the UK does more than anyone else. Bridgend in Wales take their recycling responsibility seriously too, with a recycling rate of 69.7%. Following Bridgend, the other places that take their recycling seriously are the Welsh towns of Wrexham, Caerphilly, and Swansea.

Best places for ownership rate of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles

Finally, it became apparent that Slough currently has the most registered ultra-low emission vehicles, with just over 4,500 plug-in vehicles cleanly roaming the roads. Peterborough, Swindon, Milton Keynes and Sevenoaks also all made the top 5 in ULEV ownership rates in the country.

Thoughtfulness in the community

Here’s what Marisa Thomas had to say about the research: “It’s incredible to see the level of thoughtfulness so many communities embody. Everywhere, people have been giving back in any way they can”.

“What really stands out to me is the huge number of opportunities there are to give back. From volunteering for your local charity to joining a community gardening group – there’s lots we can all take inspiration from. It’s also so great to see a big rise in environmental efforts, like recycling rates and eco-friendly cars on our roads increasing”.

While conducting this research we were filled with warmth with just how many places in the UK are displaying thoughtfulness, and acts of kindness. Especially, during the pandemic, these thoughtful actions have only increased. In Ottery St. Mary, Devon, a flower club had been making strangers’ days by conveniently leaving bouquets around the town for people to adopt. In Worcestershire, a lovely individual created a whole ‘acts of kindness’ movement, where people have donated more than a thousand pounds worth of PPE to hospitals. In the commercial world, some companies even gave their employees the chance to send flowers to their loved ones, just because…