Levelling up begins at home: the urgent need to support relationships and families in post-pandemic Britain

Published in Blog on September 30th 2021

There will hopefully never be another time like 2020-2021, when our lives have been so confined.

The pandemic has been a testing time for us all. Our new YouGov survey shows just how much.

As part of our charitable mission to increase the availability of couple-focused support, we wanted to find out how the UK’s relationships have fared during perhaps the most seismic event since 1945, the pandemic.

We commissioned a YouGov survey in July 2021 of more than 2,000 UK adults, just over half of whom were in a relationship. And the results reveal how vital supporting relationships will be to the recovery of the nation. Our summary of findings presents some important messages for policy-makers and all those with a stake in society.


John Fenna and Richard Meier

What we found

The results of our survey paint a concerning picture of the state of relationships and families in the UK post-pandemic.

Amongst the key findings of the survey found were:

• four in ten of respondents feel that the pandemic has caused additional stress for their children and wider family

• couples with children nearly twice as likely to consider splitting up as a result of lockdown and the pandemic

• More than eight in ten people understand that inter-parental conflict can negatively affect children’s schoolwork and overall academic attainment

• 45% of the survey sample believe that relationship support should be available, free of charge, through the NHS

• Separated or separating couples have particularly struggled, with 68% of these saying the pandemic had caused additional family difficulties

• 66% of respondents saying that the experience has made them value having a relationship with their partner

What Tavistock Relationships is calling for

The results of this survey tell us that people value relationships and want them to receive more support. It is apparent from this research that family relationships are under strain, and people believe that couple and family relationships need support now, just as our mental health does. For the Government’s ‘Levelling-Up’ agenda to have lasting and meaningful results, we must support the #relationships and #mentalhealth of all families.


Access the full YOUGOV Stats and tables here.

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