A research team from King’s College London are looking for people who had power cuts for two or more days because of a storm last winter
The title of our project is: what were people’s experiences of the winter power cuts?
Why are we doing this project?
This project is funded by King’s College London and supported by the UK Health Security Agency. The purpose of the project is to find out about people’s experiences during the power cuts caused by storms from November 2021-February 2022, what difficulties they encountered during these periods, and how we could better support people in a future power cut.
We hope that by doing this project, we will be able to learn lessons from these incidents about what did and didn’t work. In particular, we want to look at how people with and without a range of different needs experienced the power cuts.
What are we hoping to do?
We would like to talk to people who experienced power cut(s) due to the winter storms about their experiences of the power cut(s).
We would like to talk to people one-to-one via online video conference, or if preferred, via a telephone call. We will discuss participants’ experiences for 45-90 minutes, in addition to any comfort breaks taken.
Participants will be asked questions about their experiences of the power cut(s), for example whether they had any disabilities or health conditions that were affected by the power cut(s), and anything that made the power cut(s) more or less easy to cope with. We want to look at how people with and without a range of different disabilities and/or health conditions experienced the cut(s) so that we can assess whether these affect people’s needs during a power cut.
The conversations will be audio recorded, with the participants’ consent.
Who would we like to participate in this project?
Anyone who is aged 18 or over, who can speak (or sign) English fluently and who was affected by one or more power cut(s) for 2+ days due to a winter storm is eligible to participate in the project. We are hoping to recruit people with a range of different needs and experiences during a power cut.
We would like to recruit 20-30 people with no pre-existing medical conditions or disabilities, and 20-30 people with pre-existing disabilities and/or medical conditions.
Ideally, we would like to interview people with a range of different needs, including but not limited to:
– People with sensory needs
– People with alternative communication needs
– People with specific dietary needs
– People with cognitive or information processing needs
– People with mobility needs
– People with needs relating to self-care or independence
– People who need electric medical devices or specific medications, especially refrigerated or controlled medications
– People with any other needs that relate to a pre-existing disability and/or health condition but which are not listed here.
We are interested in talking to people with a range of disabilities and/or health conditions, regardless of their nature. Given the barriers to accessing diagnosis, this includes people who identify as having a diagnosable condition but who do not have a current diagnosis. For example, people who are neurodivergent and/or have psychiatric conditions but who are not yet diagnosed would be welcome to take part.
What are the benefits of taking part?
Participants will be compensated with a £30 Amazon voucher for taking part, and we expect interviews to last between 45 and 90 minutes (not including breaks).
What are the possible risks of taking part?
If a participant has a pre-existing disability or health condition which was affected during the power cut(s), we may ask them questions about this in particular. If a participant finds recalling memories of the power cut(s) distressing, or discussing disabilities and/or health conditions to be a sensitive topic, they may feel uncomfortable during our discussion. If a participant feels at all uncomfortable during our interview, we would be grateful if they let us know and we can take a pause or skip those questions entirely if they prefer. We do not envisage any other risks associated with taking part.
How to find out more:
To find out more about the project, visit www.tinyurl.com/powercuts to read the full information sheet, and if you’d like to take part please email firstname.lastname@example.org stating whether you meet the following criteria:
1. You are aged 18 or over.
2. You can speak or sign in fluent English.
3. You had a power cut for two days or more this winter (November 2021- February 2022) because of a storm.