As the University continues to respond to the evolving challenges the virus has presented, many of our alumni have been in touch to tell us how they have responded to the virus outbreak within their communities and throughout the world. We have been inspired by some of these tales and we wanted to share them with you.
Here are some of your stories.
Ameera Fletcher (Class of 2017)
Ameera (right) is the Director of Cre8 Macclesfield, a youth and community programme based in the Moss Estate in Macclesfield. During the pandemic Cre8 has managed to realign their services to work remotely with the mission of “small but mighty”.
As well as moving much of their youth and community project online they have also adapted to a mobile grocery service, so they can deliver donated food to the homes of those who are self-isolating or following social distancing rules.
Over the last few weeks demand for the service has grown, increasing from a two-day a week service to feeding approximately 500 people over a five-day week. The team now collect up to 1.5 tonnes of food twice a week from FareShare and other suppliers and distribute it to those who need it most within the community.
Ameera said: “Being able to feed people and connect through food is fantastic – seeing people smile when we turn up is heart-warming during these testing times.”
Clifford Iteshi (Class of 2014)
Throughout the pandemic Clifford has volunteered his time to ensure NHS professionals are able to travel to work at Salford Royal Hospital safely.
Clifford said: “Many of the people I have driven to work are nervous about using public transport during lockdown. I am happy to provide free transport for they can get to work and home again”.
Clifford also regularly checks in with neighbours and people within the community who live alone and has even filmed video demonstrations of hand hygiene and identifying COVID-19 symptoms that he has shared with people who are self-isolating.
Jeremy Davies (Class of 2019)
Jeremy is an Alcohol Detox Nurse within Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust, working with Trafford Achieve to deliver interventions for people affected by alcohol use.
During the pandemic Jeremy has been supporting the clinical team by conducting welfare checks for service users to ensure they have continued treatment, as well as ensuring access to medication and people are able to self-isolate effectively if necessary.
Jeremy said: “In recent weeks it has become more apparent how vulnerable this group of patients are. The lockdown and inevitable isolation has impacted on the mental health of many service users”. With a sharp surge in demand for mental health support, safeguarding against domestic violence and an increase in alcohol abuse, Jeremy has offered support and advice to those who need it.
“I have enjoyed supporting this group of patients during this difficult time and I hope that this work provides a valuable contribution to maintaining service users health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Jane Gerrard (Class of 2016)
As an experienced Occupational Health Counsellor within the NHS, Jane has devoted her attention to supporting the mental wellbeing of the NHS professionals on the frontline of the fight against the virus.
Jane has been able to offer telephone counselling to colleagues dealing with a range of increased challenges due to the pandemic. In particular, those required to stay in hotel accommodation between shifts and are therefore separated from families and valuable support networks.
Jane said: “The things that can sometimes be taken for granted as givens; wellness, relationships with family and friends, job security and hopes for the future. These are the valuable aspects of life that have suddenly become under threat.”
However, despite the challenges Jane has also witnessed an emergence of optimism. “I am privileged to be able to experience the hope, appreciation and insight from those that have risked their own wellbeing to help others in their fight for wellness.”
Isaac Ofori (Class of 2019)
Isaac works with the UN mission in South Sudan. He and a group of former military service men from Ghana have collectively donated $20,000 to fund the purchase of PPE supplies for hospital staff at 37 military hospitals in Ghana.
Erika Clark (Class of 2004)
Music graduate and music teacher, Erika, wrote and recorded a new song, Rainbow of Hope, in which she features 40 local school children as vocalists to raise money for NHS Charities Together. She has more than achieved her target of £1,000 and the funds are still rolling in.
She was joined by Robin Dewhurst, Reader in Music at the University, who played the piano accompaniments for the track.
You can listen to Erika talk about the story behind the song on BBC Radio Manchester here.
24 alumni from China donated 2,000 medical grade face masks to a residential care home in Bolton. The alumni, who all graduated from Salford Business School between 2004 and 2015, decided to donate the masks due to their fond memories of studying at Salford and their continued loyalty to the University.
The School of Health & Society facilitated the donation and put the alumni in touch with The Old Vicarage Residential Care Home in Bolton, a partner of the University. The face masks were gratefully received by residents and staff and they thank our alumni in China for their generous donation.
If you have been supporting your community during COVID-19, and would like to tell us about it, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.