The Power of Community: Learning from Bristol's response to the Covid-19 pandemic

During 2021, Voscur worked with academics and students from the University of Bristol to investigate how the sector had adapted to ensure delivery of vital services during Covid-19.

With many in our sector unable to deliver vital services by established means, we wanted to find out how our colleagues from across the sector had continued to fulfil their roles. And for those used to seeing community workers, volunteers, and friendly neighbours on a regular basis, how did they manage?

Interviewing VCSE staff, volunteers and service users, students from the University of Bristol set out to investigate five themes: volunteering, homelessness, open space, digital exclusion, and food poverty.

What they found was remarkable. Communities coming together to fulfil the needs of those suddenly cut off from ‘normal’ life; people donating what they didn’t need (or even what they did need) so that others could eat, learn and work; innovation that ensured people were able to use their skills and experience for the good of others; and a newfound desire to spend as much time as possible enjoying the benefits of our green and open spaces.