This chapter examines in greater depth the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns on individuals experiencing financial hardship and vulnerability in rural areas, and the responses to those impacts. The impacts reinforce the importance of diversifying rural economies that rely heavily on tourism and hospitality, and of promoting ‘good work’ which offers a reasonable, secure income. The pandemic has also amplified the impacts of digital exclusion in rural areas and highlighted how voluntary and community organisations have been crucial in ensuring that hard-to-reach groups have access to financial and other support. However, many of these organisations face a challenging future with respect to their financial resources, particularly if council budgets are squeezed further, and in respect of their ability to generate income. This chapter concludes with lessons and opportunities for supporting rural individuals experiencing financial hardship now and post-pandemic.
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