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Bethnal Green charity launches project to assess the lasting impact of coronavirus on society

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 April 2020

"Covid-19 and Me" is a project launched by Bethnal Green charity The Young Foundation, which seeks to assess the long-term impact of coronavirus on society. Picture: The Young Foundation

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A Bethnal Green charity has launched a project which aims to create a digital archive of life during the coronavirus crisis.

The Young Foundation has piloted the “Covid-19 and Me” initiative, inviting people to share their experiences via an online platform.

This project — in partnership with the Open University (OU) — wants to capture the social impact of covid-19 by collating citizens’ findings over the next three months.

The “citizen science” scheme is designed to evaluate the long-term societal impact of coronavirus.

Much of the discussion so far has rightly focused on the practical issues affected by the virus, particularly those most important to a person’s security, such as health, work and money.

What this project seeks to document is the impact of those foundations being threatened; will this generation-defining moment change the landscape of society forever?

Those over the age of 18 are asked to share their experiences on nQuire, a platform created by the OU and the BBC.

As an accredited research institute, the Bethnal Green charity will assess the testimony, which can be submitted anonymously or in a shareable format.

Helen Goulden, CEO of The Young Foundation, said: “For the first time in history, the lived experience of a viral pandemic in communities will be documented and captured for future generations.

“The resulting research will form an important digital archive of how the communities responded to this generation-defining moment in time.”

She hopes this can be “the biggest social citizen project ever” in the UK.

Anne Adams, professor of engaged practice and research at the OU, highlights the importance of this project to future decision making: “A critical part of this understanding is the important experiences of people across the country.

“It is far too easy for decisions to be made based upon numbers without a nuanced understanding of how important different issues are to everyday people.”

By creating such a personal archive, the hope is that this crisis will be reviewed beyond the analysis of statistics.

The results will be published in the summer, with interested participants asked to register by emailing research@youngfoundation.org.


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