COVID Inquiry calls for public to share stories of how pandemic affected them

Members of the public have been urged to share their experiences of how the coronavirus pandemic affected them to help shape the COVID-19 Inquiry’s recommendations.

Every Story Matters aims to aid understanding of the full picture of what happened and what more needs to be done to ensure the UK is better prepared in the future.

Almost 6,000 people have already shared their stories.

And dozens of organisations, including homelessness charities and older people’s groups, are helping to reach as many people as possible.

Inquiry team members will also be travelling around the UK to hear stories from people in-person at community events.

Inquiry chairwoman Baroness Heather Hallett said: “The pandemic affected every single person in the UK and, in many cases, continues to have a lasting impact on lives. Yet every experience is unique.

“By sharing the personal impact the pandemic had on you, your life and your loved ones, you can help me and the inquiry’s legal team to shape my recommendations so that the UK is better prepared in the future.

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“The scale of the pandemic was unprecedented, but no-one’s story is the same as yours, so please help me understand the full picture by sharing your story. Every single story will matter.”

The inquiry said the stories will give evidence of the human impact of the pandemic on the UK population, by allowing an opportunity for those affected to share their experiences “without the formality of giving evidence or attending a public hearing”.

Anna-Louise Marsh-Rees, from the COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Cymru (Wales) group, said: “It is our hope that these interactions will assist the chair of the inquiry, gain a wider knowledge of the impact of Covid-19 on Welsh communities, and ultimately influence her final recommendations.”

People are being invited to fill in an online formhttps://covid19.public-inquiry.uk/every-story-matters/ while paper forms and a telephone line will be available later this year.