COVID-19 Community Research Project

Building Back Stronger

Engaging with local communities to address inequalities associated with COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was clear that some communities experienced more negative impacts of COVID-19 than others, both locally and nationally. Evidence shows that Black African, Black Caribbean, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Gypsy, Roma & Traveller communities (BAME communities) as well as residents living in areas of high deprivation have experienced the greatest impacts.

What is the aim of the Community Engagement Project?

Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council Public Health Team are working in partnership with the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) and Community Regen to set up this important project to understand how and why these communities have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Local community researchers

A team of local residents have been trained by NatCen and CommunityRegen to conduct research amongst their local community. They will design and deliver surveys and group discussions to understand:

  • how different residents have experienced the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • what barriers or challenges they faced during the pandemic
  • attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination
  • what support communities need going forward

At the end of the project community researchers will support the analysis of findings to develop solutions to address the health inequalities in the local area. 

How can you participate in this project?

You can:

We are particularly interested in hearing from residents living in or near:

  • Central Bedfordshire areas of Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Flitwick East
  • Bedford areas of Cauldwell, Castle, Kempston and Queen’s Park

We are also keen to hear from members of the BAME communities mentioned and frontline workers.

What will happen to the results of this project?

The results of the project will be presented by community researchers and discussed at the council Health and Wellbeing Boards and will contribute to tackling wider inequalities across Central Bedfordshire/Bedford.

Having trained and experienced local community researchers are local assets, and the council would hope to involve them in work on inequalities in the future.