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Dear <<Salutation>>,
 
We wanted to get in touch during this difficult time to update you on what we are doing, to signpost you to some things you could do, and to share some positive news from the University.

Our staff have been encouraged to volunteer in our local communities where possible.  Please tell us about the issues you are facing so we can try to help in the most effective ways. We’ll do everything we can to ensure we’re good neighbours and friends, so do let us know.


We’re following advice from the Government and Public Health England (PHE), so the campus services have now closed and most of our work is being done remotely. It also means we won’t be sending out a print copy of our CommUnity newsletter this month.

Below are some features we thought might be of interest. We hope some will lift your spirits. We send you our best wishes, and hope you stay well.

 
If you have any questions, let us know. You can email us at community@warwick.ac.uk or give us a call on 02476 150708.

 
Best wishes,
Jo Handford and Ben Hayday
Community Engagement Team

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How Warwick is helping the response to the pandemic
Supporting the medical response

As a university we're lucky to have some students, staff and specialist departments who are able to contribute to the national effort to combat the COVID-19 virus.
 
We’re proud of all our Warwick staff and students who are helping so wanted to share local efforts with you, which you can read about below.
  • Many of our research labs have stopped their usual activity so have been able to donate their supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the NHS. So far, this has included 155 face masks, 400 safety glasses, 20,000 protective gloves and 1,000 shoe covers. 
     
  • Warwick Medical School is working with University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust to get Warwick medical students to take up roles in the NHS.
     
    Kiran Patel, Medical Director of UHCW NHS Trust, said that he was “almost brought to tears” by the number of medical students who contacted him asking how they could help.
     
    Kiran said:
     
    “We have 135 medical students who will join our team and that will be really helpful.”

     
  • Dozens of Warwick Medical School research staff, who have joint appointments with NHS trusts, are now focusing entirely on their clinical roles within hospitals and GP practices across the Midlands.
     
  • Our research chemists Professor Sébastien Perrier, Professor Dave Haddleton, Atty University of Warwick Department of Chemistry researchers on completion of their first batch of sanitiser - In background From left to right: Qiao Song, Arkadios Marathianos, Stephen Hall, Atty Shegiwal and Professor Dave Haddleton. Foreground Professor Seb PerrierShegiwal, Arkadios Marathianos, Qiao Song and Stephen Hall have come together to use our laboratories, in the Department of Chemistry, to make 50 litres of sanitiser using a World Health Organisation (WHO) approved formula.

    They're now working with colleagues in Warwick Medical School to distribute it to Midlands NHS organisations, with a further 200 litres about to be made.

     
  • Ivo Vlaev, Professor of Behavioural Science in Warwick Business School (WBS) is working with the Covid-19 Behavioural Change Unit for NHS England.
     
  • Professor Matt Keeling, and his team the University of Warwick’s Mathematics Institute, is continuing to advise the UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M), using his expertise in epidemiology modelling.
Read more about five ways in which our staff and students are assisting the response to the pandemic here.
 
Supporting our local communities

Across the country, we're seeing lovely acts of kindness that are direct responses to the COVID-19 situation. Many of our staff and students are active in their local communities, alongside many of you who are also working hard to make this unprecedented time more bearable for all.

Below are a few of the ways some of our staff and students have been getting involved:
  • Warwick Conferences redistributed all their fresh food to Coventry food banks.
  • Our Library redistributed all the long-life snacks and drinks (arranged for student events over the vacation) to Canley food bank.
  • We are reaching out to our community partners and local authorities to understand what support is needed and where we can have the most impact.
Many of our staff and students are keen to support communities, so please do let us know what your challenges are. Tell us what you need so we can see where and how we can best support you and your work. We will play our role in seeing our region through this difficult time.
 
Some ways you can help out
We've pulled together a few ways you might be able to help out in your community. There are lots of ways to support the national effort to suit your personal circumstances, which you can find out more about on the local authority webpages linked below. These are a good place to start but if you don’t know what to do, get in touch and we will be happy to help you find something. 
Your NHS needs you!

Join the national volunteering effort to help the NHS. The Government are recruiting 750,000 volunteers to support the 1.5m people in England who are most at risk from the virus to stay well. More than 500,000 have already signed up.

You'll need to be 18 or over, and fit and well with no symptoms. NHS Volunteer Responders can be called upon to do simple but vital tasks such as:
  • delivering medicines from pharmacies
  • driving patients to appointments
  • bringing patients home from hospital
  • making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.
We've shared the link with our community, and you may wish to do the same.

Sign up here: goodsamapp.org/NHS

 
Coronavirus Resilience Fund

The Heart of England Community Foundation, and its Donors, have come together to provide a response to the growing COVID-19 emergency. They are keen to make sure that the organisations helping those most affected get the support that they need, so have launched a Coronavirus Resilience Fund.

They are opening the fund to constituted groups who are providing, but not limited to, services such as emergency food delivery to those who are isolated and befriending services supporting the elderly. More detail is available on their website.

 
Good news from recent weeks


Bright Stars Graduation Programme

On Wednesday 4 March we welcomed local school pupils, their parents and teachers for the 2020 Bright Stars primary school programme graduation.

The children learnt about the French Revolution, studied the intricacies of the British judicial system, designed lolly drip trays using computer aided design, and explored what an inquisitive mind is with the help of our Warwick students from the French Department, the Law School, the Liberal Arts Department and WMG (supported by HVM Catapult). They visited our partner schools in October and February to offer pupils the experience of a university subject.

The programme aims to enable all children to reach their potential and bring awareness of Higher Education to under-represented groups at university. A huge thank you, to all the schools and departments involved for their support in inspiring the teachers, scientists and artists of tomorrow!

You can find out more about the programme here


Young Carers Awareness Day


We celebrated Young Carers Awareness Day by inviting staff from Warwickshire Young Carers and Young Carers Coventry onto campus to raise awareness among students and staff.
 
A young carer is someone under the age of 18 who helps look after someone in their household who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol. They might provide physical or emotional support to the cared for, or for siblings. A young adult carer is someone aged 16-25 who carries out these responsibilities. According to the Carers Trust, there are at least 700,000 young carers and 376,000 young adult carers in the UK.

Many young carers and young adult carers can find balancing their caring role with their school-, college- or work-life challenging and the Widening Participation team is working hard to ensure that as many young carers as possible have the opportunity to access our programmes and activities.
 
To mark the occasion, our Widening Participation team set up a stall with Warwickshire Young Carers and Young Carers Coventry in the University’s Students' Union to speak to students and staff about what being a young carer means.

We ended the day by attending the University’s Staff Carers Network to speak to staff members with caring responsibilities about supporting this group of young people.
 
The team thoroughly enjoyed supporting the young carers centres and were very grateful to be given the opportunity to support such a fantastic day! 


Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB) completes second stage of build  

 

On Friday 6 March we celebrated completing the second stage of the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB).

The Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB) will be a state-of-the-art research building on the Gibbet Hill campus that will bring together up to 300 biomedical researchers from across the School of Life Sciences and Warwick Medical School to fight human diseases.

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, this is particularly important, and we hope that the new building - once up and running - will be a valuable place of research and learning to combat future outbreaks.

At the ceremony we held to mark the occasion Andrew McAinsh, Head of Biomedical Sciences at Warwick Medical School, was able to shed some light on how impactful this building will be to the University, and the interdisciplinary work that will be able to be undertaken in the new building. 

Andrew said:

"We have some great scientists and here they will be working together as part of the global effort to make people's lives better in the future, understand disease and find cures. We are bringing an interdisciplinary approach to work together to try and solve these problems... this is something the University is very keen to do. Researchers from different departments will be able to work together, which is fantastic."

The six floors of the building will be home to groups researching many exciting areas including Embryo Development, New Antibiotics, Bacterial Infection plus a large lecture theatre and a café for the building.

Works on the IBRB started in December 2018 and the building is due for completion in December 2020. It will be officially open in January 2021.

CWLEP supports major projects on campus
  
We've been allocated £2 million from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), a long-time supporter of our University, towards the £33.3 million Warwick Arts Centre refurbishment project.

CWLEP has also helped to fund our WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre, which took its first intake of students last September to equip young engineers with the high-level skills businesses need in the future.


Read more about these projects here.
Keeping you moving during COVID-19

At Warwick Sport our number one priority is for all of our customers and local community to stay active, safe and well during this unprecedented time.

Even though the doors to the Sports and Wellness Hub may have closed temporarily, we're still open online. 

Over the coming weeks we'll be bringing you daily workouts, advice and activities for you and all of the family, delivered by our expert team. 

The classes are free to all and cover everything from yoga to HIIT.

Get moving today, by visiting us online!

Keep in touch
We value your thoughts and feedback, and we'd love to hear from you.

Visit our webpages or send us an email:
🔗: warwick.ac.uk/community
📧: community@warwick.ac.uk

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