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Manchester crowned most generous city in UK for third year in GoFundMe report

Manchester has retained its title as the most generous place in the UK according to GoFundMe’s annual Giving Report, which shows more than 43,000 donations were made from the northern city.

GoFundMe said there has been one donation made every second on the fundraising website in 2023, in a year which saw British donors provide to fundraising campaigns at home and overseas for those displaced by conflicts and natural disasters.

In terms of donations made, Manchester tops the list of the top five most generous locations in the UK with 43,135, while Liverpool (36,739), Brighton (19,641), Lisburn (11,122) and Saint Albans (10,474) came in second, third, fourth and fifth respectively.

The UK was ranked as the third most generous country in the world per capita, with more than four million donations made this year, while Ireland topped that list for the fifth year running with some 650,000 donations to a population of around five million people.

A bar graph displaying the top five most generous locations in the UK
(PA Graphics)

This year, British donors provided funds to people affected by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, those displaced by the earthquakes in Syria, Turkey and Morocco, and to help those impacted by the various storms that battered the country.

One such fundraiser was that created for victims of heavy flooding in Chesterfield following Storm Babet which saw vehicles submerged, houses filled with muddy water and people displaced to temporary accommodation and hotels.

The fundraiser, organised by a team at Lifehouse Church in the town, has raised more than £92,000, receiving around 1,600 donations so far.

Pastor Paul Hollingworth, 48, who has been a senior pastor at Lifehouse Church for 12 years alongside his wife Sarah, 45, said “generosity is still at the heart of the majority of the population” after people around the nation donated to the cause.

Pastor Paul Hollingworth standing with people from the local council during the clean-up following heavy flooding
Pastor Paul Hollingworth (front) standing with workers from the council in Chesterfield during the clean-up process following heavy flooding (Paul Hollingworth/PA)

“The water came over and that was it; if you were in your home you could have a go at protecting it, if you weren’t, there was nothing you could do,” Mr Hollingworth told the PA news agency.

“We set to work, we kind of forgot about ourselves, and just got on with helping people.”

He said there are up to 700 homes across Chesterfield that have been affected after the River Hipper burst its banks in October, with some still displaced and living in hotels or temporary accommodation, while others are facing the cost of repairs to their homes and businesses.

The father-of-two added: “People often say that in challenging circumstances that the community always pulls together but I think when you actually see it first-hand, it’s so inspiring.

“We had people where their homes had been flooded, but as soon as they had done whatever they needed to do, they were knocking on neighbours’ doors saying ‘can we help?'”

A car submerged in water in Chesterfield
The River Hipper in Chesterfield burst its banks in October causing heavy flooding (Paul Hollingworth/PA)

Their GoFundMe page was then established and Mr Hollingworth said people from all over the town donated.

“We’ve also had people from all over the nation contributing, people doing charity events, and when you see that in operation, I do think it gives you hope for the future,” he said.

“Things are tighter and we all have to be more frugal with our money but generosity is still at the heart of the majority of the population.”

He added: “The flooding itself means people will be out of their homes potentially for up to a year in some cases and that’s why I think GoFundMe helps because it can stay present.”

A pile of furniture outside a property in Chesterfield following heavy flooding
Furniture removed from properties in Chesterfield following flooding (Paul Hollingworth/PA)

The chief executive of GoFundMe, Tim Cadogan, told PA the organisation has celebrated its “billion pound milestone” of donations raised from the UK since its inception in 2017, and he estimates a quarter of a billion pounds was raised on the platform in 2023 alone – which he said were “incredible numbers”.

Mr Cadogan, who has worked at GoFundMe for three and a half years, added that the combination of the emotional support as well as the financial aid those using the platform receive is “so powerful” and “matters hugely in that sense of solidarity”.

“When you talk to any of our customers who have raised money, every single time they will say the money was really valued,” he said.

“But also the fact that 32 people or 50 people or 500 people, some of whom they don’t even know, gave some money and may have offered words of support, that matters hugely in that sense of solidarity and not being alone.

“It’s that combination of financial support and emotion and psychological support which is so powerful.”

To find out more about the Chesterfield fundraiser, visit: gofundme.com/f/ChesterfieldFloodVictimsAppeal