New research from local charity the Surrey Care Trust shows that while a minority of the people we support believe they have had the Covid-19 virus, 97% report that the pandemic has had a negative impact on their lives.
The research, based on a sample of 79 clients which included young people (12 years+), troubled families and vulnerable adults, demonstrates how acutely the effect of the lockdown has affected people in Surrey who are already disadvantaged in some way.
The Trust’s research found that:
• 85% of beneficiaries are more anxious
• 40% are already struggling financially and/or have seen a change to their employment status
• 50% are experiencing more family conflict at home
• 80% are feeling more socially isolated
• 83% of young people miss going to school
Young people told us that they mainly miss the social element of school explaining why 84% are feeling socially isolated, while others said that they missed the structure and routine to the day that school brings.
Over three quarters of the adults who told us that they were feeling more anxious told us that they were specifically worried about the future, citing concerns about their children’s education and also about their employment or finances.
John Downing, Chief Executive of the Surrey Care Trust adds: “For many of the thousands of people we support, the social and economic impact of the pandemic is far greater than the physiological. Struggling families and adults on low wages or in insecure jobs are already worried about how they will cope financially, even though the furlough measures are still in place.
“We’re also seeing very significant numbers of people telling us that that their mental health has been affected – lockdown has left many feeling socially isloated, while others with pre-existing mental health issues have found that these have worsened without their usual routines or are compounded by financial problems.
“As the furlough ends and the country enters recession, and as children struggle to re-adjust to going back to school after many months away, we know that many people we support will be facing significant challenges. But with the support of the community, we can work together to make sure that vulnerable people in Surrey are not further disadvantaged.”