Buckinghamshire New University is giving around 13,500 items of much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) to the NHS to protect staff on the front-line.
This is just one of a series of measures to support the nationwide effort that the High Wycombe university has put in place. It has also written an open letter to landlords asking them to match the University’s efforts by considering rent discounts or early release from contracts for students during this difficult time.
Professor Gavin Brooks, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University, in Queen Alexandra Road, said the UK was facing one of the ‘greatest challenges many of us will ever have experienced’.
He said: “We’re joining the national effort to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak by supporting the NHS and emergency services in whatever ways we can. From donating around 13,500 items of PPE that are in short supply to offering up our facilities and accommodation, we’re supporting the valued front line people who are helping to keep us all safe, and care for those in need at this challenging time. Our University community is so grateful for everything they’re doing.
”Doing the right thing by our students and staff is also very important to us. We know that many people have financial worries at this time, especially our students who lost the jobs they rely on to fund their studies overnight. We’ve given students still living in halls a 75% rent discount for next term, and released others from their contracts. We’re calling on private landlords to follow our example and do what they can to help our students.”
The University has taken unprecedented steps to make a difference and help its partners and students.
- Providing around 13,500 items of critically-required personal protective equipment (PPE) to the NHS to protect staff on the front-line, including face masks, visors, gloves, aprons, and surgical gloves. The University has also offered the NHS use of its nursing simulation labs and meeting rooms, if needed, to relieve any pressure on space at NHS sites.
- The University’s School of Nursing and Allied Health is leading an exercise to find out how many University staff want to go back in to clinical work temporarily, and what ‘upskilling training’ it can offer to NHS staff.
- Offering free parking spaces at its High Wycombe Campus to emergency services workers to ensure they can quickly and easily get to work.
The health and wellbeing of its students is a key priority and the support includes:
- Waiving the costs of accommodation for the summer term, and dramatically reducing the costs (by 75%) for those students still living in halls.
- Writing an open letter to private landlords asking that they recognise the exceptional circumstances and consider rent discounts or early release from contracts for students.
- Setting up an emergency allowance, in addition to an existing Hardship Fund, for students to claim up to £250 to meet any pressing money issues.