A year ago the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, while tomorrow - a national day of reflection - will take place one-year-on from the first lockdown. Here, we reflect on the ways the University of Hull has stepped up since the start of the pandemic.
A strong sense of community and a drive to make a contribution to the national response to COVID-19 has resulted in many incredible achievements at the University of Hull.
A commitment to supporting the NHS and driving advances in healthcare, including running international clinical trials for COVID-19 treatments, has resulted in many staff and students stepping up to join the UK’s fight against the virus.
Teams across the University have also worked extremely hard to adapt learning, teaching and research activities for the online environment, while the staff at the University’s on-campus mass testing centre have played a significant part in keeping staff and students safe.
Professor Susan Lea, Vice-Chancellor at the University, has paid tribute to all students and staff who at the pandemic’s onset moved rapidly to a predominantly online environment, and followed COVID-19 guidance, keeping COVID numbers low on campus throughout.
Professor Lea recognised the “courage, fortitude and resilience” of staff and students, as well as giving thanks for everyone’s “compassion, kindness and care”.
These are just some of the highlights, many of which have also been shared in a recent Universities UK campaign #We AreTogether – to recognise the contribution made by universities in the past year.
Staff and students who would like to share or recognise others can do so by sending details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘It’s been really rewarding and nice to get out of the house’
Dr Barbara Guinn, a Reader in Biomedical Science at the University of Hull, is one of the many staff and students who have volunteered their time during the pandemic to help others. Dr Guinn is a volunteer vaccinator based at Hull City Hall.
“I signed up as one of the 30,000 volunteers the government asked St John’s Ambulance to train to support the NHS in the vaccination programme.
“I did hours of online training and then a one-day face to face training to become a Covid vaccinator. I learnt everything from how to vaccinate a citizen through to how to treat a faint.
“The training was thorough and I had to learn about cold storage of the vaccines and the differences between the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccinations.
“I did my first session on Sunday 7 March. We are asked to do two eight-hour shifts per month and I was based at Hull City Hall.
“For some it was quite momentous as the first step back to ‘normality’ and for some they haven’t really chatted to anyone in months so it was an important outing. I am really enjoying my new role and looking forward to my next session on Sunday afternoon.”