Coronavirus exposed and exacerbated inequalities. Death rates in the most deprived areas are double that of the least deprived parts of England, the poor have borne the brunt of the pandemic. We wanted to highlight the suffering and the barriers of rebuilding post Covid in places where local authorities have seen the largest funding cuts over ten years. To do this we embedded ourselves with church leaders facing a crisis in Burnley. The safety challenges of filming during Covid were significant, but the teamed gained intimate access, giving viewers rare insight into the resilience of our poorest communities.
The impact was extraordinary, it was commentated on by MPs, the Archbishop of Canterbury, donations were offered by the Royal family and written pieces appeared in the Guardian, Observer and the Times. It was important the story was seen, heard and read across BBC platforms. Seven million watched on the Six/Ten o’clock news. There was a mini doc on iPlayer, stories on PM, Radio 2 and 5live. Four million viewed the digital story and read the online long read. The result was staggering with donations reaching nearly half a million pounds. Money that Pastor Mick says will save lives.