Supporting the NHS and the community

How the University of Bristol is helping the local and national fight against coronavirus

While our experts continue their ground-breaking research into the virus itself, our community of staff and students have been busy donating their time, their equipment and their facilities to help those working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis.

Thousands of litres of WHO-grade hand sanitiser for Bristol’s key workers 

A team from our School of Chemistry is producing World Health Organisation (WHO) hand sanitiser for key workers throughout the city, as part of its ongoing community efforts throughout the Coronavirus outbreak. 

With help from local organisations and suppliers, the hand sanitiser will help key workers – such as the emergency services, postal workers, waste management operatives and transport staff – to continue their crucial duties and keep our city running. 

The team is also engaged in providing a second WHO-grade hand sanitiser, specifically aimed at hospitals and care homes. 

Accommodation given to NHS staff

One hundred rooms in our student accommodation at 33 Colston Street will be occupied by NHS workers and volunteers.

Just moments from the Bristol Royal Infirmary, the accommodation will be used by recently qualified doctors from our Medical School, as well as third- and fourth-year medical students who have stepped up to volunteer for the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rooms will be available to them at a subsidised cost for as long as they need.

COVID-19 Internship fund dedicated to Bristol’s small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) 

Our Careers Service has launched a new internship fund to help local SMEs in Bristol. Charities, social enterprises and start-ups in the city, dealing with the challenges brought about by the pandemic, will be able to benefit from the fund, which totals over £100,000 and will fully fund around 100 internships. 

1000 bags donated to local charity 

We've donated around 1000 fabric tote bags - usually reserved for Open Days - to Children's Scrapstore, a local charity dedicated to help improve play and creative opportunities for children, young people and adults by collecting business waste to be reused as a creative resource. The bags will be filled with arts and crafts to send to vulnerable children across Bristol. 

3D printing PPE components

A small team of Technical Staff has set-up a production facility in the General Engineering Laboratory to manufacture components for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Using 3D printers from Technical Services and Research Groups, the socially distanced, hygiene-controlled set-up is producing around 250 3D printed components for face masks every day. Shipped to the National 3D Printing Society’s collection point at Avonmouth, the parts are then sterilised and assembled into reusable PPE which will meet the UK/ EU regulations for medical PPE – helping NHS workers stay safe while saving lives.

Free hand sanitiser for frontline charities

Adam Perriman's Group in the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine produced 10 litres of hand sanitiser, which they donated to charities working on the frontline in Bristol.

National cancer charity CLIC Sargent used the sanitiser in their home-from-home accommodation for families of young people fighting cancer, while homeless charity St Mungo’s used the donation in their Jamaica Street shelter.

Free car parking for NHS staff

We’ve made two of our largest car parks available to NHS staff at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, giving those working on the frontline against COVID-19 in Bristol free parking, for as long as they need.

Donating protective equipment

With demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) soaring, the Safety Team from our Schools of Geography and Earth Sciences teamed up with our Medical School to donate suits, goggles, gloves, masks and hand sanitiser to the South Western Ambulance Service and NHS workers.

Our Veterinary School is part of a nationwide effort with The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to provide ventilators and other equipment for the NHS.

So far, the School has donated PPE and lists of equipment – including ventilators and lab testing kits – that can be used by medical and scientific professionals treating and testing for COVID-19 across the country.

Preparing medical staff and students through simulations

Clinical Teaching Fellows at South Bristol Academy, affiliated to our Medical School, have been coordinating interactive simulation training sessions for staff members and medical students.

Simulation is a vital part of medical training, and in this case, is helping staff and students heading to the frontline of the NHS to deal with seriously ill patients.

So far, the sessions – which have moved from initial face-to-face sessions to virtual training – have now trained over 120 people in less than a week, with more sessions planned in the coming weeks.

Students donating to Emergency Food bank 

Our students have donated 73 tins, 6kg pasta, 3.5kg cereal, 3 boxes of tea bags, 14 toilet rolls, 9 packets of biscuits, cleaning products and toiletries to the new foodbank at Redcliffe.

Free online journals and books

Bristol University Press, our leading social science publisher, has partnered with all its eBook providers to allow free and flexible access to its digital books catalogue.

The team has also extended its free trial access period to six months for all its journals.

Bristol student’s business offers contactless food delivery

Final year economics student Simmy Dhillion, founder of Rice n Spice, has been busy ensuring his healthy and affordable food delivery service continues to help vulnerable people through a new contactless delivery service.

Simmy has introduced a discount to those aged 60 or above and to people with serious underlying health conditions.

The company has also expanded its pledge to support the homeless community, increasing the number of meals it donates to rough sleepers through partner charity Feed Up Warm Up.

Every day brings new stories of the contribution that our staff and students are making to the local, national and global effort, so we’ll be updating this page as and when we hear about them.

Partners and communities

We are keen to hear about the circumstances our partners and communities are facing, how they are responding and how we might work together to meet these unparalleled new challenges.

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