8. Impact on services
Source: University of Glasgow
Date: September 2020
This report highlights the unequal impacts of COVID-19 and how these have been experienced by children and families in high poverty neighbourhoods in Glasgow.
The research involved 15 interviews with service providers in three high poverty neighbourhoods from April to June, and analysis of secondary statistical data. Key messages relating to services are:
- Service professionals across sectors demonstrated their compassion and energy to help communities in Glasgow suffering the worst effects of the crisis. The positivity, energy and 'can do' attitude of third sector organisations during this pandemic was striking. The pandemic and lockdown resulted in an upsurge in volunteering and community mobilisation.
- Despite responsive operational partnership working, the potential for a cross-sectoral approach to emergency response planning and recovery between the public and third sectors planning was not fully realised. The report states that the third sector were not fully recognised as providing essential public services during this emergency.
- For many organisations, a blended online and digital approach to service delivery will be required over the longer-term.
Some of the key future priorities highlighted in the report are:
- Community-based mental health provision, should be prioritised, particularly given the long waiting lists for NHS services. Wellbeing-focused activities delivered by trusted local organisations could prevent mental health conditions worsening and reduce pressure on statutory services.
- Some service providers were keen to sustain the momentum in volunteering/community action by encouraging more local self-help and community-led action. The wider evidence supports the need for a move to asset-based approaches building on these strengths for collective resilience. In the context of COVID-19 recovery, it is important that vulnerable communities and groups are engaged in the design and implementation of community recovery initiatives.
- A new type of strategic partnership is required between the public and third sector – including a shared mechanism for strategic emergency planning and a shared digital infrastructure to enable and support collaborative working, and recognition of the vital role that the third sector played during lockdown.
The Children's Neighbourhoods Scotland update on rural experiences of Covid-19 (see Poverty section) describes how local services worked hard to respond in innovative ways to the food and practical needs of rural communities during the lockdown and formed new partnerships and networks to strengthen local collaboration e.g. pop up food vans.