Skip to content
Two students sat at a table wearing face coverings

The impact of Covid on public participation in health and well-being activities in Nottingham: The role of social networks and peer support

  • School: School of Social Sciences
  • Starting: 2023
  • Funding: UK student


Many aspects of society have changed during the pandemic and the longevity of these changes are unknown. Indeed, Padellini et al 2022 have argued that it is ‘important to continually monitor how different communities are responding [to Covid-19], in order to inform relevant policies aimed at eliminating social inequality in COVID-19 burden’ over a longer time frame. The data in Nottingham bears out at the local level some of those differing demographic outcomes. Office of National Statistics data shows that in the age group of 9-64 year olds, during the period from 2nd March to 28th July 2020, around 40% of deaths were COVID-19 related among the Non White-British population of Nottingham. In contrast, this figure is around 14% among the White British population.

There are clear challenges around awareness of health risks, wider society, employment pressures, and availability of digital resources. For instance, data generated from the City Council Survey indicates that:

1. Only 58% can easily understand the information provided by the council.

2. Only 63% know where to go for advice.

Overall, the health of people in Nottingham is generally worse than the England average. This can be clearly seen when comparing life expectancy and healthy life expectancy in Nottingham to other parts of the Country (Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy 22-25).

Devising an approach to move past these challenges, this study will explore patterns of offline and online social networks, sources of emotional support, and how peer groups can affect health.

Through exploring the changes that have occurred in Nottingham City, we hope to ultimately improve the health of the local area through listening to the local voice and the resultant impact on local service provision.

This project has been co-created and is supported by researchers from Nottingham Trent University, the University of Nottingham and partners at Nottingham City Integrated Care Partnership. The successful candidate for this project would be enrolled at the University of Nottingham

Project Aims:

The aims of the project are to explore how relationships and interactions affect traditionally excluded populations health. In doing so, it will maintain a specific focus on the changes that have occurred through the Covid-19 pandemic and the extent to which social attitudes towards healthcare and local support services are supporting/inhibiting improvements to health outcomes.

Project Supervisors

  • Dr Jo Morling, UoN -
  • Supervisor 2: Dr Leah Jayes, NTU
  • Supervisor 3: Rich Brady, Nottingham City Integrated Care Partnership
  • Supervisor 4: Prof Jonathan Tallant, UoN - Nottingham City Integrated Care Partnership

What is Co(l)laboratory?

Co(l)laboratory is pioneering new programme supported by Nottingham Trent University, the University of Nottingham and the Universities for Nottingham partnership. The programme aims to bring together researchers, community-focused organisations and local citizens to deliver meaningful change for the people of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. All our studentships have been developed through collaborations between academics and local, community-focused organisations to shape the research projects around the priorities of local communities.

Who are we looking for?

Co(l)laboratory aims to bridge the gap between academia and communities through a holistic programme of co-created research that actively engages with public groups. As we work to build a different way of doing PhD research, we need candidates who are socially conscious and invested in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire communities to join us. If you are an inspired individual with practical experience and a passion for creating positive change, Co(l)laboratory can help you elevate your knowledge and skills and make a lasting impact.

Entry qualifications

These PhDs are targeted towards students from non-traditional backgrounds and applicants do not necessarily need a first or 2.1 degree. Applications are open to local citizens, employees and practitioners.

How to apply

Applications to all Co(l)laboratory 2023 PhD studentships must be submitted through through our online applications portal HERE. This also applies to Co(l)laboratory studentships which are hosted at the University of Nottingham. Applications open at 12pm on Thursday 22nd December 2023 and close at 12pm on Monday 6th February 2023.

Fees and funding

This is a funded PhD project for UK applicants.

Guidance and support

For more information on Co(l)laboratory PhD studentships, contact Alex Nkrumah at

Still need help?

Alex Nkrumah