A SOUTHAMPTON charity is hoping that people's boosted community spirit will continue after lockdown.

Communicare have revealed that the coronavirus pandemic has made residents in Hampshire more neighbourly, kinder and more environmentally friendly.

The charity hope that this will continue with more people enjoying the simple pleasures in life, spending more time with friends and family and wanting to be healthier.

Research by The National Lottery Community Fund which helps fund the charity, showed that 76% of people in the South East say that they will change their behaviour as a result of the pandemic and 46% in the region think that community spirit will be better in the long-run.

Leila Andrews started volunteering Communicare in Southampton in December 2019.

The 36-year old from Ampfield said:“During the pandemic there was an even bigger call for our service as people needed more help with things like shopping and prescriptions, this was a real lifeline for a lot of people, especially those who were shielding.

"Volunteers have been invaluable throughout the last year as there just isn’t the infrastructure out there to provide that support to people, but local volunteers giving up some of their time has filled that gap.

“Community and charity has always been really important to me. I find the work is just as beneficial to me as the people I’m helping, and I continued my befriending support throughout lockdown."

The research also showed that being part of a community gave people a reassuring sense of 'we're all in this together' by feeling more connected and a reduced sense of isolation.

Senior Head of Region for London, South East & East at The National Lottery Community Fund, Helen Bushell said: "A year of crisis has put communities in the South East in the spotlight and changed how we view and value them. We’ve experienced the benefits of support, kindness and being there for each other, and seen for ourselves the strengths communities bring."