NatCen to investigate impacts of COVID-19 on UK LGBT+ communities


Researchers from the National Centre for Social Research will assess the COVID-19 pandemic’s ongoing impact on UK LGBT+ communities, and how the LGBT+ voluntary and community sectors can be best supported to respond.

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), in partnership with Consortium, a national organisation focused on the development, resilience and sustainability of LGBT+ organisations, was successfully awarded funding by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), following a call for projects looking at the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on society.

Working with Intercom Trust, LGBT Foundation and Stonewall, researchers will use existing survey data and new qualitative research to build up a picture of the pandemic’s ongoing impact on LGBT+ communities.

The research aims to uncover the pandemic’s impacts on mental health, social connectedness, safety and service engagement. Through focus groups, researchers will further explore the impacts of COVID-19 on all LGBT+ communities, including Black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT+ people, and LGBT+ people who are older and/or disabled.

The 12-month project will work closely with the LGBT+ voluntary and community sector to develop a national strategic framework, outlining what the sector needs to support it to address the short- and long-term impacts of COVID-19 for LGBT+ people in the UK, as well as providing a basis for sector-wide strategic planning.

Project lead Nathan Hudson, Research Director at NatCen, said: “Preliminary research has shown COVID-19 is having a significant detrimental impact on the already disadvantaged UK LGBT+ population. The pandemic is also impacting on the LGBT+ voluntary and community sector, which reports not only unprecedented demand for services, but also reductions in staff and funding. This project aims to build a national partnership to outline not only the problems caused by COVID-19, but also what needs to be done to preserve, support and mobilise the LGBT+ sector to address LGBT+ communities need.”

NatCen’s Director of Policy Research, Martina Vojtkova, said: “We are delighted to be undertaking research in this crucial policy area. The project will generate much-needed insights into the ongoing impacts of the pandemic on the LGBT+ community, as well as informing the development of effective support where needed.”

Consortium’s Chief Executive, Paul Roberts, said: “COVID-19 has had profound effects on LGBT+ voluntary and community organisations across the country. Demand on services has, and will continue to, increase, putting mounting pressure on funding. This important research will help us better understand both short-term and long-term needs of our LGBT+ communities as a result of the pandemic, and offer practical solutions to ensure we are well placed to explore future, equitable opportunities that ensure sustainable and resilient future for LGBT+ organisations.”

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