British binmen are in for a festive boost with four in 10 adults planning to leave them a handsome tip or gift for their hard work in 2020.
The nation’s delivery men and women won’t leave empty-handed either, with 37% of adults wanting to offer up a 'thank you' for their contributions this year.
A study of 2,000 adults found six in 10 used to take key workers, such as their postie or medical workers, for granted.
But now, three quarters go out of their way to say thank you when they come across someone providing an essential service.
Brits have already made their appreciation felt by gifting key workers letters of gratitude, flowers, chocolates – and packs of beer.
But many are set to go 'all out' this Christmas as the nation prepares to make it one to remember.
Geoffrey Dennis, chief executive of animal charity SPANA, which commissioned the research, said: “During this exceptionally challenging time, it is very positive people across the UK are celebrating key workers.
"There is now far greater recognition for workers in a wide variety of roles who carry out essential work – and people are praising their heroic efforts more than ever as we approach Christmas.
“In many developing countries, working animals are the equivalent of key workers, performing vital roles and working tirelessly every single day.
"But, sadly, they are almost completely overlooked, without the respect, recognition and care they deserve.”
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The study also found that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, one in four adults would not have considered a delivery driver to be providing an ‘essential’ service.
Another 13% felt the same way about teachers, and just under a fifth would not have deemed a postman or woman to be a ‘key worker’.
More than a third think special mention should go to those working in the food chain industries, while a third feel public transport drivers need more appreciation.
The events of this year have also given one in five adults pause to reconsider their own profession.
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Four in 10 feel that their current role doesn’t make any difference to anyone at all, in comparison to the UK's key workers.
Geoffrey Dennis added: “It is very welcome that more appreciation is being shown to the people who improve our lives and ensure that society functions properly.
“But it’s a very different situation for working animals overseas doing essential work, who are often totally ignored and neglected.
"Around 200 million working horses, donkeys, camels and elephants have a key role, and make it possible for people in the world’s poorest communities to earn a small living and survive.
"However, far too many animals currently face poor welfare and dangerous conditions, with no access to the vital veterinary treatment they need.”
To support hardworking animals visit www.spana.org/workinganimals
KEY WORKERS BRITS MOST WANT TO THANK
4. Delivery drivers
5. Waste collectors
6. Care workers
7. Shop keepers
10. Fire service
11. Food chain workers
12. Transport – train, bus drivers
14. Utility workers
15. Armed forces
17. Social workers
18. Nursery workers
19. Teaching assistants
20. Justice workers
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