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COVID AND SOCIETY: The Impact of COVID-19 on Children and Young People and the potential contribution of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jennifer RichardsORCiD, Professor James LawORCiD, Dr Hazel Sheeky Bird, Dr Rachel White


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In October 2020 the British Academy commissioned Newcastle University’s Humanities Research Institute to report on the potential contribution of research in the arts, humanities and social sciences to understanding the impact of COVID-19 on society, with a specific focus on children and young people. This report has been produced to address this issue but also should be considered in the light of the three hundred years economic hit as a result of the response to COVID-19 reported by the UK government in November 20201 and the potential consequences this is likely to have in terms of economic scarring and for public spending in the years to come. The ‘dive’ was carried out in November 2020. The project aimed to synthesise evidence relevant to the policy areas specified by the British Academy namely Health and Wellbeing and Communities, Culture, and Belonging. Specifically it provides a 'live' picture of the research and the creative solutions being delivered by researchers and partners (arts and cultural, charities, and the voluntary and community sector) impacting upon the well-being of children and young people during the pandemic.2 A wealth of numerical data have been amassed in recent months about the immediate consequences of the pandemic in terms of health, employment etc., and this is essential to understand the current predicament. In our writing below we have taken a rather different approach by examining the experiences of researchers and local organisations working in the field, dealing with the day-to-day impact of the consequences of the pandemic and on those looking to support the mobilisation of local communities. Our data come from interviews with key contributors carried out in the north east but the inference we would draw is that the issues raised in this report would be equally valid elsewhere. So we would argue that the data are locally derived but nationally relevant. We have privileged a bottom-up approach, working with people who know their communities, rather than a more conventional top-down national policy perspective.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Richards J, Law J, SheekyBird H, White R

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title:

Year: 2021

Pages: 1-18

Online publication date: 27/11/2020

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Institution: Newcastle University

Place Published: British Academy