Social media round-up: helping children understand the pandemic, support for frontline staff and free skills courses and more…

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With so many universities sharing their projects in the fight against COVID-19 on social media, it’s easy to miss a story.

We’ve highlighted some of the latest university initiatives, innovations and projects shared on social media this week. 

Read about the new coronavirus testing kits, students providing support for frontline staff, free skills courses and much more.

1. University of Manchester students support frontline workers 

As healthcare professionals in Manchester battle coronavirus on the frontline, everyday tasks become impossible. 

Saif Khan is working with other students to carry out essential tasks such as food shopping, dog walking and childcare for NHS workers to ensure those on the frontline maintain a healthy work-life balance.

2. New antiviral drug shows promising results against Covid-19 – University of St Andrews

A new anti-viral drug has been developed by Pneumagen Ltd, a spin-out company of the University of St Andrews.

Laboratory tests have shown positive results both treating infection and blocking new infections.

3. The University of Leeds helps the nation skill-up with a free digital course

The free course is part of the government initiative to help people develop their skills while the country is in lockdown.

Learn How to Create Great Online Content was created by the University of Leeds and the Institute of Coding. 

4. King’s College London opens a COVID-19 diagnostics centre

Scientists at King’s College University have opened a lab to process thousands coronavirus swab tests. 

Hundreds of volunteers affiliated with the university have signed up to support the project and help ease pressure on the overburdened NHS.

5. Rwandan hospital treating COVID-19 patients powered by a Coventry University project

Renewable energy generated by a solar electricity system installed in an African refugee camp in a project led by Coventry University is now powering a hospital. 

The energy system will support the vulnerable refugee population of the Nyabiheke camp treated for COVID-19.

6. Hairdressing lecturer joins a team of volunteers to create PPE for NHS workers – Northumberland College

Michelle Craggs is one of the volunteer team working at Northumbria University’s School of Design to produce essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline workers in hospitals, care homes and hospices.

Michelle has worked with the team to stitch together thousands of scrubs sent to Newcastle and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust.

7. The University of Manchester repurposes 3D printers to make safety equipment for frontline NHS staff

To help compensate for the PPE shortage for NHS workers, the University of Manchester is using its 3D printers to create headbands for masks that help protect frontline workers from coronavirus. 

With 50 printers, the university is providing around 500 additional headbands to the NHS each week. 

8. Student creates a book to help children understand the pandemic – Angela Ruskin University

The Day the Lines Changed is a book aimed at helping children aged two to eight years old understand the coronavirus pandemic. 

Kelley Donner, an MA student at Angela Ruskin University was inspired to write the book by her three young sons, who asked her many questions about COVID-19.

9. Researchers work to understand how to treat COVID-19 – Imperial College

Researchers across universities are working together to conduct a nationwide study to learn more about coronavirus and how best it can be treated.  

The universities of Liverpool, Edingburgh and Imperial are gathering data and blood samples from COVID-19 patients to help inform crucial clinical decision making. 

10. Support for students in financial hardship – University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is fundraising to help support students in need of urgent financial help as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The fund will support the students who need it most to help pay rent, put food on the table and hopefully, enable them to continue their education at the university.  

11. London Metropolitan University donates surplus food to Islington Council

To support the most vulnerable members of the local community, London Metropolitan University has donated £14,000 of its canteen food to Islington Council. 

12. Project tracking the impact of COVID-19 on young carers – University of East Anglia

Dr Kate Blake-Holmes, a researcher at UEA School of Social Work, has launched a project to study the impact of the pandemic on the lives of young carers.

A particularly vulnerable group, young carers continue to juggle caring responsibilities, their education and their own wellbeing in the times of coronavirus. 

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