The Covid-19 pandemic impacted on every section of society. This research looks at the experiences of grassroots community groups during 2020, how they 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. Published November 2021.

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

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

Funding Communities In A Crisis

As part of this project, Groundwork produced an additional report exploring insights from the Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund.

The fund opened on 1 April 2020 and was designed to get small amounts of funding to community groups quickly so that they could continue to support local people through lockdown.  The fund was open to organisations that have experienced increased demand, had their services disrupted or identified a need for new services resulting from the pandemic.

Find out more about this report