Understanding the impact of Covid 19 on the communities of Kent

The Kent Equality Cohesion Council and Cohesion Plus have today published a report titled “Understanding the impact of Covid 19 on the communities of Kent”. The report was compiled to better understand the complex and differing ways in which Covid 19 has affected the various and diverse communities of the county. The data used in the report was collected via an online survey which went out across Kent through community, faith and organisational networks and had in total 896 overall responses.

The report aimed to provide a snapshot across the diverse communities of Kent about their experiences with the lockdown and their mind-set as it eases. Looking at national data around the disproportionate impact that Covid 19 had on BAME communities, the report also aimed to better understand the impact of the pandemic on BAME communities in Kent compared to those from British White backgrounds.

Key findings from the report included:

  • The BAME respondents that said they knew someone who had suffered from Covid 19 was disproportionately higher compared to their British White counterparts

  • When it came to accessing healthcare at hospitals British White respondents were much more confident compared to BAME respondents

  • In terms of going out as lockdown eases, the general consensus was that individuals from a BAME background were less likely to go out

  • When it came to the consumption of culture, there was little appetite across all ethnic groups to attend festivals or visit the theatre

  • Over 2 thirds of respondents said the pandemic had had a negative impact on their mental and physical health

Gurvinder Sandher, author of the report commented, “This report provides an overview of Covid 19 and the impact it has had, as well as providing insight into the mind-set of the communities of Kent. It is clear from our findings that there has been an adverse impact on BAME communities which needs to be explored further both on a local and national context. The pandemic has undoubtedly been a challenge for everyone. However, it is vital that public sector partners show leadership when it comes to understanding where these complex and nuanced challenges exist. Our hopes are that this report can contribute towards this dialogue. It is important to recognise that BAME communities should not be seen as a homogenous group but rather separate and valid entities with differing experiences, a fact that is sometimes forgotten.”