Covid Collaborations: How voluntary & community sector/researcher partnership projects are helping those impacted by Covid

3 Dec 2020 Déarbhla Sloan    Last updated: 17 Dec 2020

During the initial months of the coronavirus pandemic many organisations and businesses face unprecedented changes and obstacles to their normal work. 

This webinar focused on two specific case studies and examined how collaborations between the voluntary and community sector and academia during these times, have created not only an impact on government policy but also on the daily lives of service users.

The webinar opened with an introduction from Kevin Fearon, QUB, who provided an informative overview of The QUB Economic and Social Research Council Impact Acceleration Covid Response Fund.

Dr Helen Noble and Anna Wilson, QUB, provided an informative presentation on “Create and Connect - Online Arts-Based Interventions to Support the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Patients with End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD)”. The aim of the project is to support ESKD patients who are self-isolating, by providing online arts activities to improve and support their mental health and wellbeing. The presentation reflected the positive impact that arts-based activities have had and continue to have on those with ESKD. It was also highlighted how the ability to carry out these activities remotely during the pandemic, in fact enabled more people to participate, during times that face-to-face activities may not have suited. Following the presentation, William Johnston (Kidney Care UK) discussed his own experience of waiting on a transplant and going through dialysis. He explained that while on dialysis he noticed the severe impact on his mental health and that is when he started to write poetry as a therapeutic mechanism. Over the years he expanded on his love for writing as therapy and has since started to write plays that reflect his experiences.

The second project discussed in the webinar is #CovidUnder19. The research project studied the views and experiences of children across the world during the first number of months of the coronavirus pandemic. The presentation from Dr Bronagh Byrne, QUB, discussed how the research capture how life had changed for children during the pandemic on a global scale. Utilising a rights-based approach, the research aimed to create spaces for children across the globe to be meaningfully involved in the discussions about responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and to contribute towards shaping the post-Covid-19 world. The research outcomes will be used to hopefully inform and influence government policy throughout the world so that they can better understand and improve children’s lives globally. On 9th December 2020 the Generating Impact: Launch Event will take place. This high-level launch aims to disseminate the results of the survey and the participatory analysis process conducted with children as well as open channels of communication between children and decision-makers. To register please click here.

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