If we want to ‘build back better’ then having a thriving network of organisations able to help keep our neighbourhoods safe, healthy and green needs to be a critical part of the plan.

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork CEO

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted on every section of society. This research looks at the experiences of
grassroots community groups during spring and summer 2020: how they have been affected by the impact of the
virus, how they have responded to support their communities, and how they can be empowered to continue playing
a key role in their neighbourhoods through the next phase of the crisis and recovery.

Key findings:

  • Community groups have been severely impacted by Covid-19 with many pausing activities, losing income and having fewer volunteers available
  • Despite this, most say there is more need for their services in their communities than there was before lockdown
  • The pandemic has created a wide range of practical and emotional challenges including greater reliance on technology, maintaining contact with people and dealing with uncertainty
  • Community groups have responded in creative and resourceful ways
  • Groups have been particularly active in more disadvantaged areas
  • Confidence about continuing in the future is lower than it was before the pandemic, but most feel they have the potential to play a role in the recovery
  • What community groups say they need most is access to funding

This research draws on three sources of information: a survey of 2,658 community groups conducted in June 2020,
in-depth telephone interviews with representatives of 103 community groups, and analysis of data about activities
supported through the Tesco Bags of Help Covid-19 Community Fund between April and September 2020.

Read the full report