Kent in Action - University support during Covid-19

Pilgrims Hospice staff wearing Covid 3D face shields

The first episode in a new series revealing how University of Kent staff and students have responded to the coronavirus pandemic will soon be airing on KMTV.

‘Coronavirus: Kent in Action’ focuses on the diverse work being carried out in fields such as medicine, business and media (to name a few), not only to combat the virus but also to provide a much-needed lift in people’s spirits.

Teaching and student life has been significantly disrupted, but the series shows how the University community has been hard at work tackling the greatest public health crisis in living memory. In Episode One, we see everything from bioscientists who’ve been working to understand the make up of the disease, to the musical Marsh family whose lockdown-themed rendition of the Les Misérables tune ‘One Day More’ went viral.

Series producer Cameron Tucker wants the series to be a celebration of what happens when people come together. ‘It was really important to everyone involved that we demonstrated the sheer breadth of activity that has been going on. These are stories from a supremely talented group of people who, in their own unique ways, are helping us through these unprecedented times. They are tales which deserve to be told,’ he said ahead of the first episode.

There’s even embroidery featured. Professor Jennie Batchelor, behind the Crafting through Covid project, in the programme says: ‘One of the wonderful things about needlework and other forms of craft is it feels like you’re putting something together when it feels like the sands are shifting from under your feet. It’s very much in the spirit of [The Lady’s] Magazine,” the 18 and 19th century publication which Professor Batchelor is an internationally recognised authority on.

Regular KMTV collaborator Betty Woessner, Research Excellence Manager at the University, is keen for this work to be shared with the wider public. ‘Whether it’s been medical advancements or perhaps having a laugh at a topical take on the current situation, everyone has been influenced in some way or another by what has been going on at Kent throughout the pandemic. These films are an opportunity to acknowledge that impact,’ she said.

The production of more than 4,000 face shields by a team of university technicians is one of many examples cited by Carole Barron, Director of KIE at Kent, and co-commissioner on Episode One, in demonstrating a vibrant research and innovation community: ‘Staff and students from across disciplines have come together through their ingenuity and enterprise, and I hope viewers will be inspired by the achievements showcased in the films.’

Coronavirus: Kent in Action premieres on Friday 18 December at 19.30 on KMTV (Freeview Channel 7, Virgin 159 and online at kmtv.co.uk).

You can also watch Episode One now on YouTube.

Picture shows: Pilgrims Hospice staff wearing face shields provided by University technicians.

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