Hidden hardship: everyday experiences, coping strategies, and barriers to wellbeing in rural Britain
British Acadency and Leverhulme Trust
Value to Coventry University
October 2022 - January 2024
Rural poverty is a problem in the UK - 17% of rural households in England are experiencing relative poverty after housing costs - yet it is often hidden by tourism and wealthier neighbours. Urban areas have been the dominant focus in social science research on UK poverty, however, responses to urban poverty are not directly translatable to rural contexts. Specific attention therefore needs to be given to people’s experiences of rural poverty. This research uses a participatory methodology to understand people’s experiences of hidden hardship in the rural North Cotswolds, Gloucestershire. It will investigate people’s hardship journeys, coping strategies and navigation of barriers to improved wellbeing. By gaining understanding of people’s everyday lived experiences of rural hardship, this research will inform public understanding of rural hardship through a travelling exhibition, and inform voluntary sector and governmental responses to rural hardship through tailored resources including a policy report.
To understand lived experiences of people in hardship in the rural North Cotswolds – their hardship journeys, coping strategies and navigation of barriers to improved wellbeing. By understanding the specifics of rural hardship and by making hidden everyday experiences and coping mechanisms of hardship visible, the outcome of this objective will be better informed individual, voluntary sector and government responses to rural hardship.