Childhood heroes: storytelling survival strategies and role models of resilience to Covid-19 in the UK

Grant number: COV19\201444

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    British Academy
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    United Kingdom, Europe
  • Lead Research Institution

    Queen Mary Unviersity of London, School of Languages, Linguistics and Film
  • Research Category

    Secondary impacts of disease, response & control measures

  • Research Subcategory

    Indirect health impacts

  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group

    Children (1 year to 12 years)

  • Vulnerable Population


  • Occupations of Interest



The generation-defining disruption to children's lives caused by Covid-19 has heightened reported anxiety levels among UK children, alongside fears for widened attainment gaps and exacerbation of inequalities. In response, public narratives have turned to storytelling, including rethinking concepts of heroism and resilience. However, these stories, along with online home-schooling resources, are fragmented and undocumented. Children's own voices also risk being lost. This project aims to mitigate educational, social and mental health impacts of Covid-19, and the marginalisation of children's voices, by 1) undertaking research into historical children's interaction with classical role-models in early magazines which forged new communities through distanced learning and 2) creative responses to heroic narratives in light of Covid-19. Collaboration with a children's magazine offers new insights into remote reading communities, creates an archive of creative responses for future research, and produces print and digital resources exploiting historical survival narratives to transform present experiences through playful pedagogy.