Opinion: Strength and innovation in adversity

PUBLISHED: 08:30 10 May 2020

Prof Amanda Broderick outlines the work UEL is doing for the community during lockdown.

Prof Amanda Broderick outlines the work UEL is doing for the community during lockdown.


For many in our community, life has changed beyond recognition.

In just a short few weeks, familiar routines have been disrupted and we have had to adapt to a new lifestyle.

This is a challenging time, but the University of East London has taken clear and resolute action. We have ensured that our students are fully supported in their studies. We are also taking a leading role in ensuring the continued health and wellbeing of our community. The response from staff and students has been truly impressive, and many have risen to the challenges in remarkable ways.

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We are supporting the NHS and Nightingale Hospital at ExCel London by offering accommodation and other support. Several members of the university are volunteering their expertise and skills at NHS Nightingale. Our help goes beyond frontline medical support. Many businesses have been forced to take out loans, cut wages and furlough employees to stay afloat. Residents have questions about how to pay rent and other expenses.

Our School of Business and Law has responded by moving its Legal Advice Centre online and providing advice on issues including family law; landlord and tenant laws; and welfare benefits. A new Tax and Accountancy Clinic will operate alongside to guide businesses through the process to access funds promised in the government’s stimulus package.

The RIX Centre at the university has secured funding to provide a suite of digital apps which can help people with learning disabilities face the challenges of isolation as a result of the lockdown. The funds are provided through TechForce 19, an NHS initiative to deploy tech innovations to help vulnerable people.

I remain hugely grateful for the effort, commitment and patience that the whole university community has demonstrated through this rapidly changing period.

We will get through this pandemic and upheaval. The university remains committed to continue to work for the benefit of people and planet; to demonstrate strength, creativity and innovation in adversity; and to support each other to flourish and thrive in a new world.

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