The work, which is supported by the university’s COVID-19 Research Urgency Fund, is looking at the spontaneous volunteering and mutual collective support seen in Brighton and Hove and the south-east in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Cocking is welcoming contributions from anyone who has been involved in support groups or helped others affected by COVID-19, with interviews to be conducted via Microsoft Teams.
The research follows the easing of restrictions in most of England on Saturday 4 July, which, among other sectors, permitted the re-opening of pubs, cafes and restaurants under certain conditions. Despite concerns that there could be widespread disorder in pubs and bars, which have been closed for over three months due to lockdown, incidents were generally low. Dr Cocking’s work on crowd behaviour has previously suggested that the public are not given enough credit for how they have conducted themselves during the pandemic.