Navigating Space Under Lockdown

A research study & film documenting the perspectives and experiences of young, racially minoritised adults from across England

Given the relative invisibility of young adults in national discussions and policy approaches relating to COVID-19, The Ubele Initiative has partnered with University College London’s Bartlett Development Planning Unit and FOAM20, to bring you Navigating Space Under Lockdown (NSUL), a collaborative, mixed methods research project, documenting the perspectives and experiences of Black and racially minoritised young adults (aged 18 to 35) in England, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responding to a gap in current understandings, the project explored how young people’s experiences of home, work, mobility, community and well-being have been affected by the pandemic and by prolonged periods of lockdown.

With the support and guidance of 12 peer researchers, the project reached out to over 200 young adults from across England, through focus group discussions, an online survey, a podcast series and a short film, to capture some of their diverse voices and experiences.

The project is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

1 %
changed accommodation at least once since March 2020
1 %
dissatisfied with their work-life balance
1 %
their perceived depression levels were high
1 %
had access to mental health support
We developed a pilot survey to quantify the impacts of COVID-19 and related lock-down measures on young Black and racially minoritised communities in cities in England. Using Maptionnaire, a web-based participatory mapping tool, we explored how the pandemic has impacted people’s experiences of home, work, mobility, community and well-being. The research areas and Maptionnaire questions were shaped with the support of the NSUL’s 12 volunteer researchers. Over 150 young adults from across England responded to the survey over a period of 3 weeks in February-March 2021.  Information on the survey findings can be found here

After a series of meetings via Zoom from Nov 2020 – Feb 2021, whilst only being able to connect – as with most of the world – via Zoom, the connections and conversations led to the development of a 6 episode podcast series where you can hear more directly from the young people involved