Our response to the coronavirus as a university community

During this challenging time, it is important that we all come together to support each other. Our London Met community reaches far and wide – and we are working hard to ensure that we support our students and staff, our neighbours and our local area, throughout the duration of this health crisis.

We are proud of our staff and students, many of whom are active citizens contributing every day to making London the best that it can be, and we want to work with the wider community to make a difference now and over the coming months. To further facilitate this, we are gathering links to resources and opportunities below to help you navigate the many opportunities available during this time.

Community support

If you are in need of support, or are able to support others, this page highlights the many ways to get and provide support within our local community.

Read more about what our community is doing to help

How we're helping – locally and beyond

Universities are centres of immense potential when it comes to fighting the coronavirus and its huge social and psychological impact.

Universities globally and in commercial laboratories full of university-trained scientists and researchers seek to crack the latest of these coronaviruses and create symptom suppressants to flatten the worst effects of Covid-19. Although London Met is not engaged in this kind of research at present, our contribution is considerable. Our scientists are regularly consulted by governments and agencies for comment and advice, whether on the question of how hardy the virus is on external surfaces, such as banknotes, to the best vitamins for the older generations to take in order to give their bodies the best chance of combatting the virus’ effects.

Our psychology team has commented on managing mental health during isolation within media channels including national press. Others are volunteering to support local communities, mental health charities and other agencies in an effort to relieve the crisis. 

From donating protective equipment from our Science Centre and sewing protective masks to one of our PhD students volunteering in a hospital lab, we’re very proud of what our community is doing to help. Here are some of the things our University community is doing to help – and read more in the news stories below.

  • The International Society for Immunonutrition (ISIN) has been issuing guidance in English and Spanish for North, Central and South American governments. The guidance is focused on which vitamins and minerals provide the best support in resisting viruses. Laurence Harbige, a member of the board of ISIN, and several colleagues at London Met are involved in this project.
  • Mohamed Ahmed, Associate Lecturer and Clinical Researcher in Biosciences, is volunteering in the labs at St Thomas' Hospital, helping to keep the hospital running at maximum efficiency to best treat and manage its patients. Mo also contributed to the March edition of the Biomedical Scientist, which describes the nature of pandemic viral outbreaks.
  • Dr Denise Turner, senior lecturer in Social Work has acted as a Specialist Advisor to the British Association of Social Workers for their guidance document on end-of-life care issued under COVID-19. She has also been invited by Sean Holland, the Chief Social Worker for Northern Ireland to co-work on a response to the way in which COVID-19 is affecting the bereavement process for people in NI.
  • Levent Bozdere, PSRB Administrator for Law and Social Work, has been volunteering with Feline Friends London to locate, treat and neuter/spay stray cats in the capital, and place them in temporary fostering with the charity. 

London Met in the news

  • “Is the world moving to card-only transactions and will cash survive the coronavirus pandemics?” is a question the finance sector asked Gary McLean, Professor of Molecular Immunology in our School of Human Sciences. Reassuringly he tells us: “The virus will not survive on cash for the length of time certain bacteria can and will still require hand-to-face contact, minimising the transmission chances. There are no scientific studies demonstrating the coronavirus on cash, nor if it can be transmitted in that way.”
  • Dr Una Fairbrother has signed up to CrowdFightCovid19, a forum bringing scientists from all fields together in the fight against the coronavirus.
  • Psychologist Dr Phil Parker was in The Sun newspaper on 19 March 2020 discussing how to protect mental health in these times of COVID-19.
  • Professor Gary Mclean comments on the decision to extend the lockdown on 16 April 2020, telling the Telegraph it "makes complete sense. They are quite rightly making sure that this outbreak does not expand further by releasing the control measures."
How we're helping through online initiatives
Get in touch

If you’re a member of the University staff or student community who is volunteering or working in the fight against Covid-19 or if you’re a member of our wider community and think there is a way we can assist you, we want to know. Please get in contact with Sophie Cloutterbuck, Director of London Engagement, by emailing s.cloutterbuck@londonmet.ac.uk.

Further links

Sadly London Metropolitan Police Service has reported an increase in scammers using the coronavirus health crisis to commit criminal offences. Please be aware of this and exercise reasonable caution.