Derry’s simply not the place to go for a lovely weekend trip these days

Derry people might be renowned for their hospitality and sense of humour – but a new survey has claimed they come bottom of the league when it comes to offering a helping hand.

The survey from the National Accident Helpline says 41 percent of people in Derry would not go out of their way to help someone they saw having an accident.

And that figure rises to 65 percent if they were in a hurry at the time, while six percent said they would not help even if the person looked injured.

Instead they were more likely to laugh or just walk away.

But that reaction is not as harsh as it may at first seem says television psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos.

“Laughing or walking away at the scene of an accident may sound shocking, but they are natural and instinctive reactions,” she says.

“We laugh to minimise the seriousness of the situation and to make it easier for us to deal with rather than take in the enormity of it straight away, whilst walking away might not be a selfish reaction but in fact a desire to keep ourselves safe.

“But we all know that when the shoe is on the other foot, it can be hurtful and upsetting.

“Having somebody laugh at us can make us feel ashamed and embarrassed which can make us reluctant to seek help or advice.

“However when somebody does offer assistance and show support we naturally feel less like the underdog and more like somebody is on our side.”

The research also showed that half of people in the UK would feel angry that nobody came to their aid and almost the same would feel embarrassed if they suffered an accident and nobody offered to help.

National Accident Helpline chief executive Sam Porteous said: “The research indicates that as a nation we seem to have forgotten how to help people in distress.

“Recognising that a helping hand can make all the difference to those in need is a vital component of being part of a caring society.

“Even the smallest of accidents, which may not necessarily appear to be serious at the time, can have significant consequences.

“We should all remember how easy it is to help someone, no matter what their injury. So next time remember to offering a helping hand.”