Covid Realities is a 21-month research programme funded by The Nuffield Foundation. It is a partnership with Child Poverty Action Group and the Universities of York and Birmingham. CHASM member, Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite, leads the University of Birmingham contribution.
The project includes participatory work with parents and carers on a low-income; tracking of the social security system response via CPAG’s Early Warning System; and the synthesis of 14 existing and ongoing research projects across the UK. It also involves providing support and resources to the wider research community.
So far, over 2,000 diary entries have been shared by parents and carers. We are focusing on disseminating and sharing the findings of the research as widely as possible. We have produced a series of rapid-response reports, and have secured significant media coverage - both connected to these reports - but also in response to timely social security debates. For example, the voices of Covid Realities participants were widely heard in the post-budget analysis, with participants speaking to BBC Radio 4, to Times Radio and to BBC News.
Our reports have been covered in features for The Big Issue and The Independent, among others, and have been quoted from in the House of Lords by Baroness Ruth Lister. Covid Realities has been a feature of three episodes of BBC Radio 4’s You&Yours, with all media appearances foregrounding participants directly.