Let’s Be Heard: Sharing Respondents' Pandemic Experiences, Impacts, and Lessons to be Learned in Scotland | Page 8

Let’s Be Heard: next steps

Let’s Be Heard’s National Engagement Period is open until 20 December 2023. During this period, Let’s Be Heard will continue to ask everyone in Scotland for information relating to the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference in the form of experiences, impacts and lessons to be learned. It encourages everyone to contribute to ensure their voice helps steer the work of the Inquiry’s investigations.

Next, Let’s Be Heard will begin its Focused Engagement Period, where it will conduct more specific engagement and research activities, such as focus groups and workshops, as requested by the Inquiry's legal team, Counsel, and the Chair to:

  • fill any gaps in terms of information and representative groups; and
  • provide a more detailed information base.


Where you can support the Inquiry

The Let’s Be Heard team is grateful to everyone who has taken the time to share their experiences. The team feels privileged to read the thoughts and experiences of people in Scotland during the pandemic. Each response received is important. 

Every contribution to Let’s Be Heard is valued and helps create a fuller picture of Scotland’s COVID-19 experience. For this project to provide a complete and accurate account of what took place during the pandemic, Let’s Be Heard needs to hear from people across every part of Scotland’s diverse society, particularly from those who consider they were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Please note, participants do not need to have had COVID-19 to share their experiences.

The work of Let’s Be Heard is underpinned by a human rights-based approach with an onus on breaking down barriers to participation. This means ensuring the project finds ways to engage with individuals and groups who may be less likely to take part in a public engagement project. 

Throughout the National Engagement Period so far, and through the analysis of responses for this report, Let’s Be Heard has identified some key groups that it feels are missing or are underrepresented. These include:

 Children and young people: 

  • Care experienced children and young people, including children in foster care. 
  • Young people living in shared accommodation during the pandemic. 
  • Students in higher and further education. 
  • Young carers. 
  • Adults who have experiences of living with, or looking after, children aged up to five. 
  • Adults who were foster or kinship carers during the pandemic. 
  • Adults who would be willing to support a child or young person to complete a Let’s Be Heard children and young people form. 

Minority Ethnic and Minority Religious Communities: 

  • Experiences of those living in Scotland during the pandemic from any minority ethnic, cultural or religious groups. 
  • Experiences of minority ethnic key workers. 
  • Experiences of religious leaders or cultural community leaders. 

Migrants, refugees/asylum seekers 

  • Migrants living in Scotland during the pandemic, including those for whom English is not their first language. 
    • Refugees or asylum seekers living in Scotland during the pandemic, or those with experience navigating the asylum process while in Scotland during the pandemic. 

Representatives and individuals from the following groups: 

  • LGBTQ+. 
  • People over 70. 
  • People who don’t feel financially secure. 
  • Disabled people. 
  • Men. 
  • People who worked in the emergency services during the pandemic. 
  • Key workers in social care. 
  • Key workers working in frontline services, such as retail and hospitality. 
  • Unpaid carers. 
  • Patients in hospital or residents in care/nursing homes or their family members. 
  • Those in management roles across health and social care. 
  • Those who were asked to shield in Scotland during the pandemic. 

 Additional experiences Let’s Be Heard would like to hear: 

  • The mental health and wellbeing impacts of lockdown on adults and children. 
  • Being self-employed or managing a small business during lockdown. 
  • Being diagnosed with a serious health condition during the pandemic. 
  • Receiving healthcare during lockdown, including people who were cared for in hospital. 
  • Navigating end-of-life care for family members during the pandemic. 
  • Ante-natal and post-natal care, including experiences of having a baby during the pandemic. 
  • Experience of working in primary, secondary or further and higher education during the pandemic. 
  • The treatment and management of long COVID that took place from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2022, from the experiences of those living with the condition and those treating or supporting those with the condition. 
  • Experiences of people receiving welfare benefits. 
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