Written by Jessica
MA Creative Writing and Publishing
It is a tough time for everyone, for the ones that are working at the frontline as much as the ones, like me, who are in lockdown. However, students and staff at Bournemouth University are working hard to help out and give support to anyone who needs it. Here are the ways the BU community has helped in the pandemic so far!
Helping the NHS
Some of BU’s students and staff are making use of 3D printers to provide additional PPE to the NHS. Stephen Lee, a final-year Product Design student, gathered a team of 15 volunteers to 3D print face shields for the NHS in the Isle of Wight and is currently seeking more help to create and pay for the materials needed.
BU has also shown support is by donating safety equipment to the NHS frontline staff. As soon as lockdown began, the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Science and Technology organised equipment loans, delivery of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and sent out volunteers to support local hospitals. Some of the items that were donated were gloves, surgical gowns, hand gel, hand sanitiser and safety glasses.
BU academics have also been supporting coronavirus’ diagnostic testing at NHS’ Poole Hospital by sending out four PCR machines, researching knowledge on testing techniques, equipment, volunteering to perform tests and train hospital staff. Other academics, such as Professor Keith Brown, are producing videos to aid the NHS to protect vulnerable people from frauds and scams on the Web
BU, being a member of the BCP Council’s COVID-19 community response scheme (Together We Can), offers opportunities for both students and staff members who want to help out. Some volunteer opportunities include care workers, food banks donations, and aid community groups to help others feel supported.
Also, BU’s student union, SUBU, is offering many virtual volunteering opportunities for students, such as the British Red Cross as a Community Crisis Reserve Volunteer, an NHS Volunteer Response and more, which can be found on their webpage. These opportunities are about standing ready to help out vulnerable people, food banks, or talking to people who might need a friendly voice to combat their lonely days.
Mental Health Support
Some students like Hester Rodrigues, a Creative Writing student who is also a certified yoga teacher, contributed to a mindfulness blog to give people tips on how to manage their mental health. Also, John Vinney, BU’s Vice Chancellor, produced a podcast on wellbeing where he also talks about what support BU is providing for students.
Of course, BU’s Wellbeing Team is always ready to help out students and offer advice on how to take care of their mental health in the long days of lockdown. As a plus, BU’s students have free access to the Big White Wall, a 24/7 mental health online resource with tips on how to manage anxiety in the coronavirus situation.
So, as you have read, BU is keen to be a team player and help out in this difficult times, whether it is standing ready for its students, staff or the local community. If you are also keen to help out, definitely check out the volunteer pages on SUBU or the Together We Can page where you can contribute physically or virtually. Hope this article inspired you and made you more optimistic and reassured. Take care of one another and stay safe!