During COVID-19 lockdowns, many community organisations were unable to provide in-person support for their members  and used technology to remain connected to the people they care for.

Many organisations used digital tools like websites, video calls, and social media, such as Facebook, to deliver workshops, training sessions and support to people.

We want to explore the role digital tools used by community organisations play in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of communities, especially people who are less likely to use digital tools.

We hope to find out if increased use of digital technology is unintentionally leading to some groups of people being “left behind” and therefore at more risk or poor mental health and/or whether it is helping people who were previously “left behind” to access better support and activities.

This study is run by researchers from Newcastle University, Imperial College London, and Cambridge University.

Can you help us?

We’re putting together an advisory group for our research study.

We are looking for anyone over the age of 18.  We would especially like to invite anyone with lived experience of poor mental health, anyone from an ethnic minority background, people living with disabilities, carers of people with disabilities and/or any older adults (age 65+) to join our panel.

We intend to hold two meetings in March 2023.  One meeting will be online and one will be in-person.  People who are interested in becoming involved will be asked to indicate their preference for online or in-person.  In-person location will depend on the location of those who express an interest.  Two further meetings will take place later in 2023 and in 2024 and will also be offered online or in-person.

Each meeting or workshop would last for 2 hours.  People are not obliged to attend all three events. We are flexible regarding whether these meetings will be held online or in-person.


If you apply to take part in this study please let the organisers know you saw it advertised by Shaping Our Lives. Thank you!

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