Researching the impact of Covid-19 in Bradford

Hello, my name is Shazia Bi and I graduated as an adult nurse from the University of Bradford in 2013.

Shazia dropping off some treats for staff at Bradford Royal Infirmary

I work as a research nurse for the Born in Bradford (BiB) which is one of the largest research studies in the world of its kind. Bradford suffers from high levels of deprivation as well as having some of the highest rates of childhood illness in the UK. Born in Bradford tracks the lives of over 30,000 Bradfordians and is helping to unravel the reasons for this ill health and bring new scientific discovery to the world. It is also providing a catalyst for the communities to work with the NHS and local authority to improve child health and wellbeing.

As part of the reassignment of staff at Bradford Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust during these difficult times, I have had to inspire new ways of learning, which was work from home due to my underlying health conditions. The recent outbreak of Covid 19 has affected my ability to go to work as usual.

I am very proud to still be working with the NHS, Local Authority and Education Services on the COVID-19 research response, contacting families to discover how the lockdown has impacted them. This research and its findings are very important and will inform the planning for the district. This pandemic has drastically changed the focus of our research within Bradford, from tracking the health and wellbeing of children and parents, to understanding the effects that this devastating outbreak of Covid 19 has had on families.

Shazia delivering goods to the A&E department

Our aim is to capture first-hand experiences of families so our partners can best support the community as we move forward. We are contacting over 9000 families across the district to share their experiences into how the pandemic is affecting their physical health and mental wellbeing. This research will allow us to turn a spotlight on other concerns such as job insecurity, struggles to pay bills and whether people are able to afford, or source, food required during this time. The survey is confidential and being carried out from home, is the first of its kind in the UK. This should allow us to gain an accurate understanding of the challenges faced by families within Bradford during this pandemic.

My team has encouraged communication during this time through the introduction of weekly Zoom meetings, allowing us to track progress and communicate effectively. Despite the unexpected change in work environments I feel that myself and my team at BiB have adapted effectively which has allowed us to successfully continue our research.

Items donated by Regal products that have been distributed to the community.

Alongside my research I am actively supporting the community in Bradford. I have helped donate and distribute Regal products including biscuits, cakes and other treats to frontline staff in the NHS. Through doing this, I experienced my most uplifting moment where I was able to meet and support my NHS heroes, including A&E staff, paramedics, respiratory nurses, emergency pharmacies and many more. From distributing masks to my vulnerable neighbours, to making scrub bags for frontline staff, I am working daily to support the community in Bradford during this crisis.

I believe we have obeyed the lockdown rules well in Bradford. We will hopefully come out of this tunnel soon and will return to our normal personal and work life.

Would you like to share a story about how you have been supporting others during COVID-19?
The Alumni Team are interested in hearing about what alumni and students are doing to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter how small your contribution, your story doesnt have to be heroic , you can get in touch with us by emailing

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