Covid-19 response fund - a year on and still making a difference
We launched our Covid-19 response fund in May 2020 - find out how the donations received to the fund have supported our students, the community, and research projects.
In July and October, we shared the range of projects funded by donations to the Covid-19 response fund. Since launching our Covid-19 response fund in May 2020, we have received many donations totalling over £19,000 to help provide support for our students, the community, and research.
We are delighted to share with you some new projects that were made possible thanks to donations from alumni, staff, and friends of the University.
Supporting our students
We're continuing to support students who need help through our existing hardship funds, which have been extended in light of the pandemic. We will ensure this support remains available as long as it is needed. However, with your help, we have been able to do more.
Delivering library books and equipment to students in isolation
With funding from the Covid-19 response fund, we've sent over 50 parcels of books and equipment to 43 students who could not visit the library due to being required to self-isolate. Your donations have enabled students to continue accessing the materials they need for their studies, that are not available online, at a time of need.
Supporting students over the festive period whose home is Solent University
Over the festive period, many students remained in halls with us, including care leavers and estranged students. Your donations enabled us to provide vouchers to those most in need, as well as festive hampers and selection boxes to bring the festive spirit to them.
Supporting the community
Solent University prides itself on engaging with and being part of our local community. As a result, our response to the pandemic has been to reach out a helping hand to those in our local community in most need. With your donations, we have been able to support more.
Nurture and empower communities to live healthy and active lifestyles
Health 4 Her (H4H) is a weight loss programme designed to provide an appropriate and safe exercise environment to facilitate an increase in physical activity participation for ethnic minority women from low socio-economic areas of Southampton.
Face to face classes began in October 2020, but unfortunately had to stop due to the second national lockdown in November. The funding was used to purchase equipment for participants to take home and keep so they could exercise at home in between the face-to-face sessions and follow the home workouts provided at each session. Having the equipment at home enabled the programme to continue during the lockdown by switching to online provision through a Facebook group. The funding was integral as it enabled 33 women to continue their health and fitness journey throughout the second and third lockdowns.
Three students have benefited from the funding as the programme has provided them with real world learning experience and an opportunity to learn new skills, gain confidence, and improve their employability. One of the students has secured a job opportunity based upon the work experienced they gained through Health 4 Her, which would not have been possible without the funding.
“I delivered part of H4H face-to-face, allowing my confidence, abilities, and communication skills regarding group exercise sessions to improve. I have met a variety of people and developed into a successful communicator. The change to online delivery meant I had to adapt, demonstrating versatility and proactivity. As I grew in confidence, I became more adaptable, which improved my employability. My confidence continued to increase when I received positive feedback from the ladies. Knowing the ladies are enjoying the sessions, gives me a sense of accomplishment. Once I've finished my studies I would like to have the impact I had on the ladies of H4H in my local community, perhaps running something similar in the Midlands.”
Hayley James, Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science third year student.
H4H has since been awarded further funding from the This Girl Can Community Fund so the project can be delivered across the city. This would not have been possible without the Covid-19 response fund received, which showed the need of the programme within the city of Southampton.
Research at Solent University impacts the real world and benefits the local communities we are here to serve. Donations to the Covid-19 response fund are already making a difference in an important area of research.
The forgotten keyworkers: challenges faced by British seafarers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic
An online questionnaire collected 340 responses. The questionnaire data has now been analysed, and we have begun to disseminate the findings. We have shared some preliminary findings from the project at the 'Understanding the effects of Covid-19 on seafarers' webinar which the World Maritime University hosted in November 2020. We have also provided evidence regarding sanitary provisions and the Seafarers' Earnings Deduction to Nautilus to submit to the UK Government. We will be sharing some of the findings at the IMarEST First Global Conference for Seafarer Mental Health and Wellbeing and at the 'Covid-19 and seafarers: A humanitarian crisis?' seminar hosted by the Centre of Governance and Human Rights, University of Cambridge.