ARU heroes

The coronavirus pandemic caused upheaval and uncertainty in our lives. But it was also a time when the extraordinary happens and heroes emerged. We’re proud to say that the ARU community joined together in the battle against COVID-19.

Montage of four photos showing a nurse, a person sewing, three paramedics, and an engineer. Overlaid with the text #ARUHeroes

What we did

  • Our staff were involved in work to speed up coronavirus testing, and to raise public awareness of the virus around the world.
  • Researchers from ARU led projects to explore the effects of self-isolation, and offer insights into ways to boost our health and wellbeing.
  • We've since returned to campus, but in March 2020 teaching moved online and our students did a brilliant job of adapting. One of our illustration students even published a book which aimed to explain coronavirus and social distancing to children.
  • More than 400 nursing and midwifery students worked on the NHS front line, including recent graduates and final-year students who undertook extended placements.
  • Our people volunteered for the NHS, sewing scrubs and using 3D printers to create protective face masks and shields. We also had staff helping to build the Nightingale Hospital in London.
  • Many ARU staff answered the call from the Government to return to practice to assist the NHS in areas such as nursing, physiotherapy, and operating department practice. Health and social care students were also called up to help in the battle against the coronavirus and to support vulnerable people.
  • We supplied medical and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the NHS and to local care homes.
  • University equipment was put to good use: we lent a specialist Tecan robotic machine to the Government to help increase the UK's testing capacity.
  • During lockdowns, essential staff stayed on campus to support students in accommodation, with a buddy scheme in operation.
  • With social distancing affecting many face-to-face services, our Law Clinic moved online so it could continue to offer free legal advice to people in need.
  • Our student services remained available, with study support, library services and health and wellbeing appointments offered online.
  • While campuses were closed, we donated food from our cafes to charities and food banks in Cambridge and Chelmsford.
  • Research projects, such as the music therapy initiative Together in Sound for people living with dementia, continued online. We also invited our community to get involved in new projects, such as RadioMe.