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Alone together: countering COVID exclusion through community building

Project Details

Funding partner

Flinders Caring Futures Institute COVID-19 Grant




Bellon, M., Idle, J., Lay, K.& Robinson, S., (2022) Community in the pandemic: experiences and strategies by people with acquired brain injury and their families during COVID-19. Disability and Rehabilitation early online

Parry, Y., Ankers, M. & Sivertsen, N. (2021) Where is community during COVID-19? The experiences of families living in housing insecurity. Health and Social Care early online


DCI researchers

Flinders University researchers

  • Professor Lily Xiao

  • Professor Eileen Willis

  • Professor Eimear Muir-Cochrane

  • Dr Jane Bickford

  • Dr Yvonne Parry

  • Dr Nina Sivertsen


COVID-19 experiences of pandemic shut-down shaped and reformed how we experience community. This has instigated a hyper-local community response, on- and offline collective efforts such as #ViralKindness and street-level support groups. However, while these support and sustain some people, they do not reach everyone. Who is left out of these community efforts?

More marginalised community members may not be reaping the benefits of these local collectivising activities. The extent to which these communitarian approaches incorporate disadvantaged groups during Covid-19 remains unknown.

This collaborative project explored the strengths and needs of three groups of marginalised community members affected by COVID-19 isolation measures in 2020 – families facing homelessness, people with disability needing daily support, and older Chinese speakers with little English.

Individual and small group interviews were conducted face to face and online with family groups. Each sub-study used the same set of primary research and interview questions for comparability across the groups, with questions and accessibility measures added to each study to address the particular circumstances of each group.

The project results are reported in academic articles and infographics.


This project highlighted the perspectives of three groups who were poorly heard at the outset of the pandemic. The research will contribute to better understanding of the unequal impact of Covid on different parts of the community.

Future publication is focused on the effects of technology.

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