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COVID-19 has changed the needs of NFP beneficiaries, according to new research

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Social impact technology

Young people lonelier than any other age group

Social impact technology company, Socialsuite, has launched its ‘COVID-19 Social Impact Report’. The Report highlights the impact of COVID-19 not only on respondents’ physical health but also their sense of security, safety, freedom, and self-worth. During this time, non-profits need to better understand their beneficiaries’ changing needs in order to support them in navigating the impacts of COVID-19.

The Report has found, surprisingly, more young people are feeling lonely as a result of the pandemic than any other age group. Forty-one percent of young people (aged 18 – 24) reported feeling lonely as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns, compared to the 29 percent average.

Just under 20 percent in this age group were also more likely to report that they did not maintain regular virtual contact with friends or family, compared to the 11 percent average. Notably, those aged over 55 were most likely to maintain virtual contact with their social networks.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented impact on people’s livelihood, sense of freedom, safety, and ultimately their sense of self. This impact is even more pronounced for vulnerable populations. Now, more than ever, the social services sector needs clear insights on how to help their people navigate through COVID-19,” says Socialsuite Co-Founder and Head of Impact, Dr Clara Ong. “Non-profits need to be constantly monitoring and listening to what their people’s needs are, so that already scant resources such as funding can be strategically directed towards the areas of greatest need.”

“It is a critical time for non-profit and social service organisations to help combat the effects of loneliness,” continues Ong. “For instance, enabling people to talk about their loneliness, and providing them with the appropriate support structures, can help break the cycle before negative behaviours and psychological patterns set in,” she said.

Other findings from the Report include young people are engaging more frequently in self-development activities during the lockdown, and 67 percent of respondents reported stress ratings of 7 or more out of 10.

The areas that people have greatest concerns about, as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns, were loss of connection with social networks, mental health concerns and loss of connection with extended family.

Respondents aged of 18 – 34 years are more likely to feel that their job is at risk as a result of COVID-19. In June, 46 percent of 18 – 24-year-olds and 35 percent of 25 – 34-year-olds reported feeling that their jobs were at risk compared to the average 27 percent.

Those respondents who expressed a need for support getting through COVID-19 frequently cited; financial support, having someone to speak to, a sense of security, and access to essential services and supplies as their key areas of need. 

Socialsuite gathers feedback and sentiment which provides insights to help manage social issues. Its customers include charities, philanthropic foundations, government and companies, including Scope, Salvation Army and YMCA.

To download a copy of the Socialsuite COVID-19 Social Impact Report, go to the Socialsuite website.

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