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Covid-19 and Financial Hardship in Rural Areas

Covid-19 and Financial Hardship in Rural Areas

Mark Shucksmith with Jayne Glass, Polly Chapman and Jane Atterton, APL

The Rural Lives project investigated why and how people in rural areas experience and negotiate poverty and social exclusion, with a focus on financial hardship and vulnerability. It examined the roles of societal processes, individual circumstances, and various sources of support (including markets, state, voluntary and community organisations, and family and friends).


This additional report examines in greater depth the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns on individuals experiencing financial hardship and vulnerability in rural areas, and the responses to those impacts.  Using the Rural Lives evidence and other research published since March 2020, it presents key lessons and opportunities for supporting rural citizens experiencing financial hardship now and post-pandemic.
The findings are based on interviews and focus groups conducted with individuals experiencing financial vulnerability and representatives of organisations offering support in three rural areas. The case study areas were Harris and East Perthshire in Scotland, and Northumberland in England. Research was carried out between October 2019 and September 2020, both before and during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns. See www.rurallives.co.uk for outputs.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences