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Luton Borough Council

COVID-19 Talk Listen Change community engagement


A community project to tackle inequalities of COVID-19 in Luton

Nationally, there's clear evidence that COVID-19 has not affected all population groups equally. In Luton, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, black African and black Caribbean population groups (BAME) have seen the greatest impact.

In January 2021, together with the Institute of Health Research at the University of Bedfordshire, we launched a unique community engagement project - COVID-19 Talk Listen Change (TLC).

Luton TLC project logo  

The project aims to explore why BAME communities have been disproportionately affected by the virus.

The COVID-19 TLC project, led by Dr Nasreen Ali, leader in public health equality from the Institute of Health Research at the University of Bedfordshire, engaged with these communities to seek their views and experiences of the virus to determine a better understanding of how they have been affected by the pandemic.

A key goal of the initiative is to work with residents to develop solutions to some of the identified barriers and issues in order to tackle health inequalities

The project to date

So far, the project has included:

  • an online community survey to allow residents to share their views
  • online focus group discussions with BAME community members living in wards most affected by COVID-19 (Northwell, Leagrave, Biscot, Dallow, Saints and South)
  • one to one interviews with frontline health and social care workers
  • community debates via online events

This initiative is part of the work plan of the Health Inequalities Delivery Board, a sub-group of the Health and Wellbeing Board. The findings of this project will be key to informing the ongoing work for these boards to tackle inequalities in Luton.

Since the launch in January, all of the comments from the various listening events that have taken place have been collated by the university. 

In summary, the main findings were:

  • views on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19
  • views about risk factors, symptoms and transmission of COVID-19
  • barriers to getting tested for COVID-19 and the reasons for vaccine hesitancy
  • views on how the wider inequalities have impacted on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19
  • views on how to communicate with communities and co-develop solutions to tackle inequalities

TLC latest updates - April 2022

What we wanted to do and how we did it.

TLC - executive summary

Creating solutions together to tackle health inequalities in Luton.

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© 2022 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ