Your stories

Read inspirational accounts from people who have played a part in Understanding Society, either as a participant or interviewer.

"At 86 years old, I feel proud I'm taking part"

One of our participants, Joy Catlin* from Lancashire wrote in to say how much she likes her interviewer and why she enjoys being part of the study.

What does it take to be a good interviewer?

Have you ever wondered how much work goes into arranging a survey like Understanding Society…? Maria Holcekova joined our survey management team to report on the challenges that interviewers face on a daily basis.

Thanks for your latest feedback

After sending out our latest spring newsletter in March, we received a wealth of feedback and wanted to share it with you.

Tell us your story

At Understanding Society we are always looking to hear interesting stories from our participants and interviewers so get in touch today.

“It’s a privilege to meet participants,” says Julia

What is life like for an interviewer? Louise Miles talks face-to-face to Julia Havis who has been quizzing the nation for 14 years

Highlights of the job with Chris Cooper

“In some households, children like drawing pictures and making me presents; which is most welcome!” says Chris Cooper.

Making the move from youth to adult interview

After recently celebrating his 17th birthday, Kaden* reflects on why he enjoyed taking part in the adult survey this year.

Emma's account: 15 years of longitudinal study

One of our participants, Emma* joined the BHPS study in 1998. Here she shares her experiences and why longitudinal research matters to her.

Meet the interviewer: Gordon Tate

For researchers, Understanding Society is all about the numbers. But for interviewers, it’s the people that matter. Seasoned interviewer Gordon Tate of NatCen Social Research relives some of his most memorable survey experiences.

Walkmans, milestones & memories

Participant Sam* was just 11 when he took part in the Youth Survey. Now 26, he explains why he and his parents and four siblings – have stuck with Understanding Society and why it’s important to their lives.

Meet the interviewer: Cheryl Stungo

Interviewing’s not just a job – more a way of life, as Cheryl Stungo, for TNS BMRB, explains.

Surveying E1: Anne Newill's story

From Brick Lane to Upminster, Ilford to Enfield, interviewer Anne Newill is an East End girl at heart. Here, she talks about her fondness for the area and the families that she’s met since working on the Ethnic Minority Boost sample back in 2009.

A day in the life of an interviewer

Understanding Society interviews are carried out in England, Scotland and Wales by our fieldwork agency NatCen Social Research. All the interviewers are specially trained, but for many of them it’s more than just a job.
Sign up to our newsletter