Covid, one year on: How UON has served the community

Date 5.03.2021

University of Northampton and its staff and students have taken an active role during the pandemic, with a year of good deeds, support and signposting and general helping out where help has been needed. The outcomes and benefits of our responses are chronicled in this report from our Institute of Social Innovation and Impact.

With a big thank you to everyone involved, we round up just some of these stories, starting with those from earlier in 2020. For more, see our ‘Serving the community’ webpage.


Shortly after the lockdown officially started in March, we provided 400 free rooms in vacant student accommodation to house healthcare staff and patients to ease the pressure on the NHS. Read more.

Molecular Bioscience lecturer David Young juggled daily lecturing duties and his own research with volunteering to support local hospital colleagues tackling the pandemic. He gave his spare time to support Northampton General Hospital’s (NGH) testing of Covid-19 samples. Read more.

The University’s Podiatry Clinic’s doors are open again for general appointments, but part of the team remained on-call for patients during lockdown. During this time, they gave advice to or directly saw over 250 patients. Read more.

University accommodation was temporarily given to a local charity who are supporting rough sleepers in the town to get back on their feet.

Throughout the past year, Waterside campus also housed temporary Covid assessment and testing clinics.

The University supported the Red Cross, when they needed a base in Northampton to store food to be packaged for delivery to vulnerable people across the county.

Staff from our Institute for Creative Leather Technologies helped dye half a tonne of material that was turned into clinical scrubs for local NHS staff. Read more.

Students from across the Faculty of Health, Education and Society stepped up when the Government issued a call for nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy and paramedic science students to provide extra people hours to help the NHS. A total of 273 Nursing (all four fields), 37 Midwifery, 40 Occupational Therapy and 45 Paramedic Science (BSc and Foundation) students did this during lockdown. The number increased in February 2021 when another 124 Nursing students opted in. Read more.

Students living in halls received first-class support from University staff to help them get through the pandemic safely. Staff rallied round to provide food parcels for those who were self-isolating, welcome packs for international students and provided a listening ear with UON’s Check in and Chat service. Read more.

The University of Northampton’s Energy Centre tower is an important part of Northampton’s skyline, and starting in January we gave people the chance to share a message of thanks for all to see on the power tower screen. Read more.

A group of three University of Northampton students have created a blog to help navigate student life. Second-year students Megan Denny, Lydia Wiles, and Megan Andrews, have launched their blog, It’s A Student Thing, on Facebook and Instagram, geared towards supporting and inspiring other students. Read more.

Foodbanks across the county have been supporting people throughout the pandemic by providing food parcels and more. Thanks to a huge donation from the University of Northampton, families will be able to access nutritious ready meals, cupboard staples, tinned fruit, and sweet treats from their local food bank. Read for more.