Do you live in Britain's most generous city?

·4-min read
Manchester city center skyline.
Manchester was the most generaous city in the UK. (Getty Images)

It's been a tough year, and most of us have been watching the pennies – along with our health, our job security and Netflix.

Giving generously to worthy causes may not have been the first thing on our minds, it's fair to say.

But one British city was undaunted by the ongoing privations, and determined to look on the bright side of life – particularly when it came to donations.

New figures released by GoFundMe, the fundraising platform, show that one of the nation's least well-off cities is in fact the most generous.

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Topping the giving list is Manchester, home of Manchester United, Manchester City, world-class universities and glittering nightlife.

Admittedly, it's famous for its footballers and pop stars, but much of Greater Manchester earns below the average wage, with areas close to the glamorous city centre amongst some of the poorest in Britain.

Yet over the past year, Mancunians donated more than anyone else to charity fundraisers, the equivalent of around one donation for every six people in the city.

Salford, home to Media City, came fourth. (Getty Images)
Salford, home to Media City, came fourth. (Getty Images)

GoFundMe admits that calculations are approximate and the exact number of individual donors is not known, because multiple donations can be made by the same person.

But it's clear that the city which bounced back from an IRA bomb, the tragic arena attack in 2017 and successive lockdowns has still got plenty to give.

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In fourth place was Salford, Manchester's 'sister' city, home to Media City and chic Salford Quays.

Rounding out the five most generous areas in the list, Manchester was followed by Londonderry and Belfast, Salford and Newcastle, then Edinburgh, Bangor, London, Brighton and Hove and Glasgow.

Cobh is on the south coast of County Cork, Ireland. It was the final port of call for the RMS Titanic. On a high point in the town stands St Colman's Cathedral, over a row of houses, the so-called “Deck of Cards”,  each one differs in colour from its neighbouring building.
Ireland was the most generous country in the world. (Getty Images)

Statistics also showed that Ireland was the most generous country on a per-person basis for the third year in a row, as it reached almost one million donations in the last 12 months.

The UK came fourth on this list of the world’s most giving countries, after the US in second and Canada in third place, and Australia completing the top five.

The UK’s biggest GoFundMe campaign in 2021 – raising over £1.6m in donations – was for Azaylia Diamond Cain, an eight-month-old baby who needed lifesaving treatment in Singapore after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukaemia.

<p>Ashley Cain recalls Azaylia's cancer symptoms were almost missed as he launches foundation in late daughter's memory to help save other children from leukaemia. </p>
<p>Credit: Lorraine / ITV / ITV Hub</p>
Ashley Cain recalls Azaylia's cancer symptoms were almost missed as he launches foundation in late daughter's memory to help save other children from leukaemia. (Lorraine / ITV)

Read more: Special tax break for charitable donations packs extra incentive for giving this year

The child of former Coventry City footballer Ashley Cain died in April, but the Ex On The Beach star and his partner, Safiyya Vorajee, have now set up the Azaylia Foundation in her honour.

The charity aims to help support children in the UK under the age of 17 who are fighting cancer by helping them access treatment not available on the NHS.

Azaylia’s fundraiser, which garnered attention from celebrities including film and wrestling star Dwayne Johnson, contributed to March 28 being the most generous day of the year on GoFundMe’s website – with more than 115,000 donations made that day.

Watch: Ashley Cain vows to dedicate his life to helping save other children's lives

Across the globe, one donation was made every second on the site this year.

“This year, we saw an overwhelming display of gratitude on the platform," said GoFundMe chief executive Tim Cadogan.

“More than 15 million thank you messages were sent to the GoFundMe community, reiterating that these donations are so much more than a transaction, they are profoundly important acts of support and hope.”

The UK’s most generous areas:

1. Manchester: one donation for every six people

2. Londonderry: one for every 10 people

3. Belfast: one for every 10 people

4. Salford: one for every 12 people

5. Newcastle Upon Tyne: one for every 15 people

6. Edinburgh: one for every 15 people

7. Bangor: one for every 15 people

8. London: one for every 15 people

9. Brighton and Hove: one for every 16 people

10. Glasgow, one for every 16 people

Additional reporting, PA Media

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