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University wins award for supporting pandemic-hit community

Date 19.01.2021

Dedicated colleagues at the University of Northampton have been officially recognised for the way they have supported communities during the pandemic.

The Estates & Campus Services team at the University has been instrumental in the University’s response to the pandemic, ensuring students, staff and the local community have been kept safe and supported since the first lockdown in March 2020.

The team’s work has been held up as a shining example of best practice, after winning a Rose of Northamptonshire Award.

The initiative, which was launched by the Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, The High Sheriff of Northamptonshire and Northamptonshire County Council, invites the public to nominate individuals or organisations deserving of recognition.

The team has worked tirelessly to implement government guidelines on campus, often at very short notice. This has included setting up of a Covid testing centre; adapting buildings and teaching spaces so they are Covid-secure; and providing support to students, including coordinating the delivery of hundreds of food parcels for self-isolators, welcome packs for international students and provided a welcome listening ear.

The wider Northampton community has also benefited from the team’s support, managing halls of residence so they could be used to house rough sleepers, key health workers and those escaping domestic violence.

Colleagues also organised the housing of a temporary assessment clinic at Waterside, which saw around 200 patients with Covid-19 symptoms safely assessed, and, more recently, co-ordinated the installation of an NHS Covid-19 drive-thru centre on campus.

The team also supported the Red Cross, when it needed a base in the town to store food before it was delivered to vulnerable people across the county, providing space and helping to pack food parcels.

Becky Bradshaw, Director of Estates and Campus Services, said: “I recognise that we all worked, and continue to work, incredibly hard to support our students, staff and wider community throughout this pandemic and our Estates & Campus Service colleagues are no exception. I am in constant awe and surprise at their positive ‘can do’ attitude which hasn’t faltered since the pandemic began, even when the odds were quite clearly stacked against them. I talk frequently about how honoured I feel to lead this department and their receipt of this award has only intensified that feeling of pride and gratitude.”

Read a full account of how the University has supported the community in the crisis.