In late June, Richmond Council conducted a survey to find out how Covid-19 has affected the health, wellbeing and financial standing of the community.
Over 1,400 residents responded in results presented on September 10 to the Finance, Policy and Resources Committee.
Key findings from the survey showed that 16% of respondents had been personally affected by the serious illness, or death of a relative or friend linked to COVID-19.
On the financial side, 10% had been furloughed from their job and 10% had someone in their household lose their job. A total of 31% reported a fair amount or great deal of economic impact.
When asked about the positive aspects of lockdown the most common responses were improved air quality (70%), less traffic congestion (67%), and reduced travel (42%).
Many residents said that lockdown has prompted a change in behaviour, with 48% of residents reporting starting or increasing the amount they work from home, 42% doing more grocery shopping online, and 50% doing more shopping locally.
There were also indications of a rise in active travel, with 50% intending to use their car less, 73% walking more, and 39% cycling more.
Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:
“Covid-19 has changed so much about daily life for all of us here in Richmond upon Thames and we were keen to survey residents so that we could understand what their individual experiences have been.
“Some of the things we’ve been told by residents are very positive, particularly around their appetite to volunteer, help others in the community and to support local businesses on the high street.
“Other responses are quite worrying, particularly with just under a third of those surveyed reporting a fall in household income. Through our recovery work, we will look at how we can get those who have been most affected back on their feet and will offer all the support we can.”
He emphasised the Council’s Shop Local campaign, launched to encourage people to return to the high streets.
As well as new online resources – including the Virtual Community Conversation programme – to support residents continuing to work from home.