We set out to understand how the pandemic affected people’s experiences of migration and integration in their local area. We spoke with communities living in Cardiff, Oldham, and Sandwell to explore how they understood the pandemic to have affected relationships within their communities, how they maintained social connection, and what tensions or challenges were emerging locally.

This report explores our findings, which include how the pandemic made participants acutely aware of inequalities within and across their local area, and pressed pause on opportunities and occasion for social contact between migrant and receiving communities. In some cases, the pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing tensions within communities, and people who had originally migrated to the UK faced challenges during the pandemic that were a direct result of or amplified by their immigration status and related inequalities.

Drawing on the views of participants and stakeholders, we set out three overarching recommendations for supporting communities to recover from the pandemic.