How Covid-19 changed community life in the UK

Published: July 2020 Publication Type: Publication

Authors: Franca Roeschert, Jana Tauschinski, Zoe Dibb (on Maternity Leave)

A week by week archive of life during a pandemic. Understanding the impact on people and communities.

Covid-19 has radically changed the way we go about our day-to-day lives. It has shifted where we turn for help and support and how we interact with friends, family and neighbours. To better understand the short- and long-term impact of the pandemic on UK communities, The Young Foundation launched two projects focused on hearing directly from people all over the country.

The first, Covid & You was a citizen science project delivered in partnership with The Open University and focused on understanding over 500 people’s experiences of Covid-19 and the impact of social distancing on their everyday lives. Members of the public completed a survey that included questions about mental wellbeing, sources of support, challenges faced and unexpected effects of lockdown.

The second project invited 100 people to complete weekly digital diaries. Tasked with documenting and recording life during this period in greater detail, participants were asked to respond to weekly questions, complete surveys and upload photos and drawings in order to help us gather insights on different issues as the situation evolved.

Combined, the stories and data captured from April to June through both projects paint a fascinating picture of real-life during lockdown; revealing tales of hope and community solidarity, family struggle and boredom, anxiety and resilience, and more, as the pandemic unfolded. 

The insights gathered from over 600 people across the UK are organised week by week according to significant dates in the public news cycle — like the introduction of new government guidelines, the Queen’s speech or Capt. Tom Moore’s fundraiser for the NHS.

We have been able to identify trends in attitudes and experiences from the first weeks of lockdown all the way through to the more recent lifting of some restrictions. In full, this calendar creates an important digital archive of how UK society responded to the crisis in real-time.

Access the new report: How Covid-19 changed community life in the UK

If you are interested in understanding more about the study – please contact Zoe Dibb: