Going above and beyond: Kingston University nursing students tackle coronavirus pandemic head on

Hundreds of nursing students from Kingston University have been on the frontline to help in the national fight against coronavirus, with many going above and beyond to assist their NHS colleagues and the wider community.

Many are on work placements organised by the University’s Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, run jointly by Kingston and St George’s, University of London, while others have been getting creative to find other ways to support the NHS and those most vulnerable in society.

Adult nursing masters student Emily Brooks set up Crisis Kitchen, a scheme providing free meals to those most in need. Since opening on 2 April, she and her team of volunteers have so far made and delivered more than 5,000 meals for the most vulnerable in her local area of Ashford, Kent. Later this month, she will join the army of Kingston University students working with the NHS to help with the COVID-19 effort.

Second year learning disability nursing student Martina Gomez, who has been working in a residential care home during the last few weeks, has donated more than 200 hand creams to fellow care and nursing home workers after receiving cash pledges to give the items to key workers.

Since being fast-tracked to work on a cancer ward, second year adult nursing student Ellie Bouali has been encouraging her fellow healthcare professionals to follow her footsteps and seek free support from qualified therapists if they are feelings the effects of being on the frontline during the pandemic. She was encouraged to join a Facebook group called Therapy and Support for our Frontline NHS and Emergency Services, which has helped her mentally deal with the current situation.

First year mental health student Sam Godfrey has been putting what he’s learned during his course into practice after his placement at a private hospital in the capital, helping those with mental health illnesses, led to him getting the job full time.

It’s not just the University’s nurses helping out during the pandemic, as student midwife Lottie Hannay has been giving up her spare time to help NHS frontline workers with childcare. Through an app called Bubble Babysitting, she offers her services to relieve key workers of one of the many pressures they are currently under.

Head of the School of Nursing at Kingston University Dr Julia Gale expressed her pride at how her students are reacting to the challenges posed by COVID-19.

“I am constantly amazed by the incredible passion, ingenuity and care shown by our students – they really have been going above and beyond to help not just their NHS colleagues and other key workers but those most vulnerable in our communities,” she said.

Some of the University’s students have been speaking about their efforts for International Day of the Nurse, which took place on Tuesday 12 May – on what would have been Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. Watch the video here.