About the project

Covid Realities is a research project looking into the experiences of parents and carers on low incomes during the pandemic. 

Since February 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the globe, causing suffering for millions. Here in the UK, we have had one of the highest death tolls in the World. 

But it’s not just the virus that’s the problem.

The lockdown has seen the closure of businesses, local services and schools, causing serious economic hardship and stress.

This crisis affects everyone, but some more than others.

We know that people in low-income communities are more likely to become unwell.

We know that BAME communities have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. 

And we also know that families living with children, and carers of children, face particular challenges, especially when they are trying to get by on low incomes.

But there is still more we need to find out – especially about how families living on a low income will manage during the next few months.

Covid Realities is a project by a research team from the universities of York and Birmingham, working in partnership with the Child Poverty Action Group

We want to better understand the struggles of daily life for low-income families, and help policymakers make the right decisions. 

We are also looking to help other researchers with their work in this important field, bringing together findings from a number of related studies and helping share key research messages.

Are you a carer or parent of a child under 19 facing difficulties making ends meet?     

Then we’d like you to share your experiences with the Covid Realities project. Let us know your challenges, worries and frustrations. Tell us about how life could be made better for you. 

This website is a secure online space in which you can share the realities of your everyday experience. You can also suggest any ideas you might have about changes which could help improve your situation.  

Click here and get started right away. 

It’s really quick and easy, without any ongoing commitment. 

  • Tell us as much or as little as you like, even if you just want to let off steam, that’s fine with us. 

  • You can leave written notes, or share a video or an audio recording if you prefer. 

  • What you tell us will be strictly anonymous

  • We’ll give you a gift voucher to thank you for your time. 

We hope you can help us share COVID realities for families on low incomes and try to make changes for the better.  

Are you a researcher?

The Covid Realities project is also a place to provide support for researchers looking at poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic.                      

So, if you’re thinking of working on a project related to COVID-19, or already doing so, then we have resources to help. We want to create a space where researchers can share some of the practical, methodological, and ethical challenges they are facing as they seek to research poverty at this time. We want to create a conversation - and we’d love you to be part of it. 

You can find out more about this project across the website. If there is anything you think we should be doing, that’s not included here, then please get in touch via the contact us page and let us know.

You can keep in touch with all the latest news and developments in the project by entering your email address below.

Are you a policy marker? Work for a charity? Or personally interested in this project? 

If you’re a politician, policymaker or charity working in this field, or if you’re personally interested in this area, we’d like to share our findings from the project, as and when they emerge.

Please sign up to our mailing list so we can keep you informed about the project as it progresses. We’ll also share findings from our work with Child Poverty Action Group on their Early Warning System; a database of submissions from front line advisers. These submissions tell us how the social security is responding to the pandemic; pointing to places where change is especially urgently needed.

Get regular updates on the Covid Realities project. Enter your email address below.
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