MORE than 9,000 Bradford families are taking part in a health research ‘first’ to explore how the coronavirus is impacting on their day-to-day lives.

Researchers are inviting families who are part of the Born in Bradford project to share a first-hand insight into how the pandemic is affecting their physical health and mental wellbeing.

The confidential survey will also turn the spotlight on other concerns, such as job insecurity; struggles to pay bills and the rent or mortgage; and whether people have been able to afford or source the food they need.

The emotional wellbeing impact of social isolation, and not being able to see family, friends and extended networks, will be explored too.

The project, which is breaking new ground in the UK amid the coronavirus challenge, is being spearheaded by Born in Bradford, based at the city’s Royal Infirmary hospital.

Health researchers will be asking thousands of families who have children at all stages of childhood - from pregnancy, the early years (pre-school) to primary and secondary school aged children.

Professor John Wright, the director of research for the project, explained: “It’s important that we listen to the day-to-day experiences from as many families as possible living on the frontline.

“Their answers will give our research team a unique window into a world where coronavirus has touched the lives of all of us in many different ways.

“This insight will ensure we understand better the scale and range of these real-life challenges and concerns now facing our community.”

Participants will be invited to complete a questionnaire online, by phone or via the post – and, as it is totally confidential, it is hoped that a significant number will take part.

The Born in Bradford research project is helping to unravel the reasons for ill health and bring new scientific discovery to the world.

Dr Josie Dickerson who is leading the research added: “The more people who are able to feed back to us their experiences, the more we will have an accurate understanding of the challenges families in Bradford are facing and how our partners in the district can best support them in the future.”

“We would like to ask our Born in Bradford families to keep an eye out for an email, letter, or phone call from the research team over the next couple of weeks, and to please complete the survey so we know what challenges they are facing.”

Bradford was chosen as it is the sixth largest city in the UK, with a multi-ethnic population of more than 500,000 people. However the district suffers from high levels of deprivation as well as having some of the highest rates of childhood illness in the UK.

It is hoped more communities to work with the NHS and local authority to improve child health and wellbeing.

The high profile project has seen 12,500 pregnant women recruited to the study between March 2007 and December 2010.

Participants might fill in questionnaires like this or researchers will carry out assessments on learning ability, working memory capacity, and mental and physical wellbeing of children in years three, four and five.