COVID in Colour

COVID in Colour

Over 60 young Black people and People of Colour completed an online survey to provide their experiences of living through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Intercultural Youth Scotland (IYS) is a youth-led charity dedicated to promoting the wellbeing of young Black people and People of Colour (POC) and supporting them to overcome barriers to participate in decisions that shape their lives.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, IYS published a report to document their experiences and perceptions of the impact of the pandemic on their education, wellbeing and life opportunities. COVID in Colour not only highlighted issues this community faced, but also provided a detailed action plan with short- and long-term recommendations to address these issues.

What we did

We used an approach that ensured young people were actively engaged at all points during the research process.

12 of our youth Anti-Racist and Pro-Black Ambassadors participated in the planning, designing, implementation, dissemination, and feedback phases of the study. Drawing on their own experiences, they identified topics and themes about COVID-19 and how it affected their lives.

Working with the Anti-Racist Educator team, we used these themes to create an online survey. The survey included 38 open and closed questions covering the impact of the pandemic on young people's academic and mental wellbeing, access to support and its potential effect on their life opportunities.

We promoted the survey via our extensive social media presence to reach the young people we work with directly. Participants in the research also used their personal networks to extend the reach of the survey. Known as convenience sampling, this approach helped overcome the limitations set by the first COVID-19 lockdown in May and June 2020.

A total of 63 Black and POC young people completed the survey and gave us their views.

What worked well

The convenience sampling method used in the research phase worked well as it allowed us to gather a wide variety of responses rather quickly.

The online survey was accessible to anyone with a mobile phone or internet access. It allowed the young people to express themselves independently and from the comfort of their own spaces.

After initial analysis, the survey findings were shared with the Anti-Racist and Pro-Black Ambassadors and they participated in the joint discussion about the implications. The Ambassadors helped explore how the report could influence future policies and programmes aimed at Black and POC young people.


As with all small-scale studies conducted within tight timeframes, there are a few limitations to the report.

Due to the sampling method and small sample size, we cannot claim any degree of representation for – or generalisability towards – the wider Black and POC youth population living in Scotland. Further, due to the relatively small number of participants, we opted not to disaggregate the findings further by ethnicity or gender.

Convenience sampling was chosen because of limited capacity within our team at the time, as well as wider societal restrictions. We attempted to mitigate its limitations by promoting the survey to as wide a group of people as we could, across multiple platforms, to achieve as much exposure as possible.

A total of 73 people completed the survey. Since our focus was on reporting the experiences of Black and POC young people, we had to remove the entries from some respondents who had identified as "White British", "White Scottish" or "only White". We could have used a more selective sampling method to avoid gathering data we ultimately could not use, but had to balance sampling accuracy against attempting to reach as wide an audience as possible. It was considered better to discard unusable data than to struggle further to collect it at all.


David Chukwujekwu (Creative Co-ordinator, Intercultural Youth Scotland)

Photo credit: Charlotte May from Pexels

Last Updated: 19 April 2023