We would like to accept the Richard Titmuss award on the behalf of the whole Covid Realities team.
I am Aurora, one of the Covid Realities participants. I am a widowed parent of two children, living in London and who has been subjected by the benefit cap. As participants, we’ve helped to shape the book, our voices heard and echoed throughout. Our lives documented through the website, the online diaries, the workshops and online meetings over two years, culminating in the book - A Year Like No Other.
And this was certainly a year like no other!
As someone who was unemployed and completely reliant on benefits due to life circumstances, the Covid Realities project came at just the right time. I did think not long before I came across an advertisement to participate, that something had to be done about our situation. Before the project, I felt unheard, unimportant and invisible. I felt attacked by certain government policies, and mostly stigmatised by the media. The project itself has meant a lot. I looked forward to the online meetings, where stories and ideas were shared without blame or judgement, I enjoyed participating in the various workshops - where we were supported and encouraged to speak and write about our experiences by the wider team - I felt supported!
Being a solo parent, I had little adult interaction, Covid Realities actually became a lifeline, release, and something to focus on when there was little else to occupy us during the coronavirus pandemic. We became multimedia creators - allowing us to contribute to the book, the Zine, the voice notes and animation. Covid Realities gave us the opportunity to voice our opinions to both the media and the government.
This award is important! Our hope was to impact and form social policy for those on a low income. This award will raise awareness and help silent, disadvantaged households receive a hearing when so much media attention is currently focused on the political elite, who have cheated and lied during lockdown.
For this I am extremely grateful and thankful! I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the book - A Year Like No Other. I would like to thank all involved, the whole of the Covid Realities team, the participants and collaborators… A Huge Thank You!