Would a stranger save your life? It may depend on who you are, where you live and whether you’ve got a family, according to our new survey.
Britons are more likely to come to the aid of their pet than to help a male or teenage stranger in danger, our new research has revealed.
A poll conducted for us found that overwhelmingly, nearly four out of five people (79%) would be willing to help their pet if it was in danger.
However, only 56% would be willing to help a man on his own and just 68% would help a teenager they didn’t know, if they saw them in a risky situation. Pensioners (91%), woman (85%) and a child (85%) on their own in danger were most likely to enlist the sympathy of a kind-hearted stranger.
When asked what would prevent them from stepping in to help a stranger in danger, 46% of Brits said they would be concerned about risking their own safety, while 36% said they would not know how to help.
We've seen 40 years of generous strangers
We released the results today as it announced that, after forty years of appealing for bone marrow donors, more than three people every day are given a second chance at life, thanks to a generous stranger – but it’s still not enough.
The YouGov survey of 2,353 adults also revealed that ‘selfie culture’ may be making us more selfish when it comes to helping strangers.
Some 15% of 18 to 24-year-olds have pretended to be on the phone or texting to avoid helping a stranger who was in danger.
And nearly one in ten (9%) in this age group surveyed online have seen a person in danger and posted about it on social media, rather than helping – although on a positive note, almost half of this age group (47%) have intervened and offered to help.
The survey also shed light on the areas people are from who are most likely to have helped a stranger. Only 49% of adults in the East Midlands having helped a person in danger, the poll reveals. In contrast, 63% of adults in both Wales and Scotland – well over half - have stepped in to help a stranger.
Just 1% of the British public are on our register - despite 70% being willing to donate stem cells
The findings are particularly significant for Anthony Nolan, as we rely on the kindness of strangers to join our register of potential bone marrow donors.
Despite the survey showing 70% of people would be willing to donate stem cells to a stranger with blood cancer, in reality less than one per cent (0.8%) of the British population are on the Anthony Nolan register.
Anthony Nolan Chief Executive, Henny Braund, said: “These findings have raised thought provoking questions around how far we would each go to save a stranger’s life.
“We can all be guilty of seeing a stranger in need and assuming someone else will help. But every day, three amazing donors give someone the chance of life by donating their stem cells, without knowing anything about the person they are helping. That is quite remarkable.”
People 'don't know how to help'
When asked what would prevent them from stepping in to help a stranger in danger, the most common reasons people gave were concern about risking their own safety and not knowing how to help.
But it’s not all bad news – only five per cent said that they wouldn’t help a stranger because they were ‘too busy’, and seven per cent said it would be because they ‘didn’t know the person’.
“What many people may not realise is that when it comes to saving a stranger with blood cancer, there is a very simple way to do something truly life-changing for another family.”
How you can help
Find out how you can save the life of a stranger and be a better person, visit www.anthonynolan.org/strangers
To join our lifesaving register, click the button below