How to support vulnerable audiences in research

Before COVID-19, gathering the thoughts and opinions from a vulnerable audience was a huge part of our day-to-day work here at BEAM.

Whilst arranging in-home, face to face interviews are most certainly off the cards for the foreseeable, thankfully we are still able to reach this market safely and sensitively with the help from the ‘new norm’ that is online research.


One of the perks to moving online is the ability to cover all areas in the UK, whilst keeping the personal feel of an in-home interview. We can connect better than ever with respondents of any age, SEG, ethnicity, financial situation, disability, health issue, religion, AND across a widespread geographical location all in one project.


Due to the sensitive and personal nature of some research projects, how we recruit and collect data has to be carefully tailored to ensure genuine empathy is built from first contact. We have developed compassionate, innovative principles that provide a framework for recruitment. The principles include:  

  • Attending: Recruitment and contact consistently delivered by the same project team to establish and maintain human connection and build trust. 
  • Understanding & Empathy: We take our time to develop a deeper knowledge around each participant’s experience working beyond the screener to establish meaningful connections and gain more revealing insights.
  • Helping: We deliver the research projects as an opportunity for voices to be part of the whole effort for change. Compassionate innovation and quality communications are at the heart of projects involving vulnerable audiences to ensure participants always feel comfortable, informed and in control allowing them to share their views and experiences without fear. 


We screen all our respondents on device type, quality of connectivity and their tech ability as part of all our recruitment as standard.

We offer tech support to all our respondents helping to prepare them for their research session. Need five 90-year-olds on to a ZOOM call? No problem, we can’t wait to have a natter with them after we’ve helped them online.

We also digitally host all client groups, helping respondents to get online in a time manner ready to participate fully in the groups, signing a digital register and chasing up those late candidates.

Want to reach a vulnerable audience, but don’t know how? Give us a call on 0161 850 9864 or drop us an email at


Let BEAM Fieldwork support your research project. Fill in the contact form below
or give us a call on 0161 850 9864