A NEW study has revealed Essex is among the most kind-hearted counties in the UK.

Data released from Ecclesiastical’s Movement for Good awards has revealed more than 600 residents have so far pledged their support to a charity that is ‘close to their heart’.

Healthcare is the issue they care most about, with animal welfare and supporting people with disabilities completing the top three most popular charity sectors in the county.

People aged 46 to 55 are more likely to support a charity than any other age group within the region.

The Movement for Good awards from Ecclesiastical Insurance will see a total of £1million given to charities this summer.

Members of the public can nominate a cause for a potential £1,000 award.

More than 50 local charities now stand a chance to receive one of these £1,000 grants via nominations from kind-hearted Essex supporters.

The data has been taken from public nominations made in the weeks since the campaign launched.

It shows people living in the South East are the most supportive of charitable organisations in the UK.

Thanking supporters in Essex, Group CEO of Ecclesiastical, Mark Hews, said: “We have seen a fantastic response to our Movement for Good awards so far.

"With nominations still open we hope many more charities are put forward for a potential £1,000 award, which we know can make a huge difference to the work that charities do.

“So far the bulk of the nominations have been made in the South of England and by over 35s.

"We want to urge people in the North, and younger generations across the UK, to also get involved and nominate a cause close to their hearts.”

Winners will be drawn at random and the more times a charity is nominated the more chance it has of being selected.

You can vote for your favourite charity online at www.ecclesiastical.com/movement-for-good.

Later this summer, ten charities will also be chosen by a panel of judges to receive £50,000 from Ecclesiastical for major projects that can make a real difference to communities over a number of years.