WELCOME TO THE RELATIONSHIPS OBSERVATORY
In March 2020 – when the spread of coronavirus gathered pace – we established The Relationships Observatory. Alongside our network of observers, we’re gathering examples and insights about how people are adapting during the crisis.
We are learning from previous disasters and experts in disaster recovery, community development and conflict transformation, to understand the role that strong communities play weathering the bad times and making the most of the good.
The stories on these pages represent a tiny proportion of that important work. Thank you for all that you are doing.
The Covid timeline
Through the course of our conversations over the past 2.5 years, we’ve identified a broad pattern experienced by many communities: a honeymoon period in which we came together, shopped for shielders and clapped for carers, followed by a long winter of disillusionment and growing distrust. Now many of us are stuck in a holding pattern of ‘shuffle and repeat’ – moments of respite and optimism followed by another wave of grief and anxiety.
Latest report: The Sense of Connection
This is a brittle Britain. Fragile, anxious and uncertain. Past the worst of the pandemic but not over it. Fearing the multiple costs of a hard winter.
There’s much we can learn from previous disasters about repairing and strengthening the social fabric. In this report, we draw on the expertise of the After Disasters Network in the crafts of disaster recovery and conflict transformation, and weave this together with all that we’ve learned from our own network about community development.
We share some steps that we might take together as we navigate the road ahead and we invite you to join us in understanding how to support strong and connected communities.
Other resources from the Observatory
Two years into the pandemic, we share the stories, experiences and priorities of young people – a group which has been systematically overlooked in our response to the pandemic so far
Turning to the Light
One year in, we reflect on 365 days of disruption and look forward to a period of recuperation and renewal. We share practical resources for building on the positives and healing divides
The Moment We Noticed
100 days from the start of lockdown, we draw together what we’ve learnt, reflecting on the shifting undercurrents which offer hope that 2020 might be a year of positive change
Bridge Builder's Handbook
Resilient, connected communities are built from strong connections across divides. This Handbook, created with the After Disasters Network, aims to inspire and equip a nation of Bridge Builders
Kit for Councils
What’s the appropriate statecraft, in style and substance, for enabling and supporting community activity? This kit contains resources to help councils navigate towards the light
Active Neighbours Guide
9m willing volunteers extended a helping hand during Covid. What are the stories behind the statistics? What’s needed to support them to carry on caring? This guide shares our learning
Sightings from the Observatory
Our Sightings blog brings together reflections on the impact of the pandemic from our network of contributors. If you have an observation – however small or significant – we’d love to hear it. Please share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Observatory Sighting 14: Lockdown and deep-tissue damage
In this Observatory Sighting, we explore acute, long-term and easily overlooked 'deep-tissue' damage resulting from relationship upheaval during lockdown and enforced separation. As we move towards the Out Turn, we must recognise and repair this damage. We recently...
Lookout Sighting #1: School, stress and a summer of catch-up
Over the past 18 months, we’ve been hearing about adults’ experiences of lockdown through The Relationships Observatory. Now, in partnership with Summer of Play, we’re hearing from children and young people about how the past year and a half has been for them, and...
Frauke – Spirit of Lockdown #7
As part of our open call to Share your Story, we received this #SpiritOfLockdown account from Frauke. Frauke set up and managed a local Whatsapp group in her community which Basil the dog played a big part in, keeping spirits high and helping forge community...