GCU on the frontline

Our nursing and paramedic students joined the NHS on the pandemic frontline. Hundreds of students nurses and BSc Paramedic Science students responded to NHS Scotland’s call to work in hospitals across the country in the first weeks of the pandemic. They were joined by School of Health and Life Sciences Dean Professor Andrea Nelson, who volunteered with a COVID-19 mobile testing team. 

Psychology students trained with the Scottish Association for Mental Health to support COVID-19 frontline workers. With £105,000 funding from Foundation Scotland, GCU and the SAMH joined forces to provide mental health support to 4000 key workers.

Lifesaving materials for the NHS 

We donated testing equipment, including a ThermoFisher 7500-Fast PCR, which was transported to a city COVID-19 testing facility by the Army, as well as medical equipment from our Inter-professional Simulation Centre. We provided crucial personal protective gear, including safety glasses, thousands of gloves and 1400 disposable aprons, and our 3-D printing technology produced vital face shields for frontline clinicians.  

Our state-of-the-art laboratories were opened for secure testing, and staff and students stepped in to offer the government their expert laboratory support. Staff who usually focus on fashion turned their sewing skills to creating vital masks and PPE. 

Our ARC sports centre was transformed into a key walk-through COVID-19 test centre. The centre allowed anyone experiencing symptoms, including students, GCU staff and members of the public, to get a free test in under a minute.

Helping the most vulnerable  

We gave financial support to foodbanks feeding our Caledonian Club communities in areas such as Drumchapel, Springburn, Dennistoun and Castlemilk, while our later-life training guru and Professor of Ageing and Health Dawn Skelton embarked on a mission to help thousands of vulnerable older people maintain fitness with online movement sessions. 

Reaching out

The GCU Foundation and Alumni team manned the phones to check in on alumni and friends - including graduates of one of our founding institutions, The Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science, affectionately known as the ‘Dough School’ - to ensure they were safe and well and their spirits were high at a challenging time.