The full impact of the coronavirus pandemic on minority ethnic communities in Perth and Kinross has been laid bare in a new report.
Almost three-quarters of people said their mental wellbeing was affected by lockdown as stress levels increased and work dried up.
An astonishing 72% reported symptoms of poor mental wellbeing during a recent survey.
And around a quarter of people lost work or had their pay or hours cut during the last year.
Figures show 30% had their incomes reduced, while 33% reported their current housing does not meet their needs.
The figures released by the PKAVS Minority Communities Hub in Perth, follows work with minority ethnic communities in the area to gauge the affect of the pandemic on their lives.
Jenni Keenan, of PKAVS, said the findings will now be used to address issues experienced by minority ethnic people in the area.
‘I didn’t work during that time’
Wiktoria Kaminska, originally from Poland, works in a shop that was forced to close during lockdown.
She was unable to work during lockdown and she was stuck at home with two young children, one of whom she home schooled.
Meanwhile, her husband has also been working from home during the pandemic.
It’s been a struggling time for us,”
She has received a lot of her information on the pandemic from PKAVS but she still found the situation difficult.
Wiktoria said: “I work in a shop that was closed during that time so I couldn’t work.
“My son is seven years old so I had to home school him. And I have a two-year-old.
“It’s been a struggling time for us.
“I had to think about what to do with the kids during that time.
“It was mainly just walks because there was nothing else to do.
“During this time, the main information I was getting was from PKAVS.”
Potential to inform change
PKAVS described the figures as “disheartening”, but said they provide scope for positive change to be implemented.
Empowering communities team manager Jenni Keenan said: “The findings of this report are disheartening at first look, but have the potential to inform real change for minority ethnic communities in Perth and Kinross.
“The key areas which emerged through this exercise are tough to address, but by no means impossible.
“We look forward to working with partners in the third and public sectors locally to address these issues and make Perth and Kinross a fairer place for everyone who lives and works here.”
This has been an eye-opening exercise.”
Lori Hughes, PKAVS.
Partnership and Communities Manager at PKAVS Lori Hughes said: “This has been an eye-opening exercise, the findings of which will inform the work of the Minority Communities Hub as we enter recovery from the Covid pandemic.
“We are particularly keen to work with services and communities to create space for minority ethnic communities to have ongoing input into the decisions which affect them.”
Sense of normality
While the pandemic has presented significant challenges in all areas of life, Wiktoria feels there is a greater sense of normality now restrictions are gradually being lifted in Scotland.
She said: “We can go places and have family days out.
“And I am back at work – it seems normal now.”