Health and Social Care students across the Havering colleges rose to the challenge when they volunteered to help with the on-site Covid testing of thousands of learners.
In the first few days back after the latest lockdown, and in line with Government requirements, New City College (which includes the Havering campuses) undertook an incredible10,000 Covid student tests – with only six positive results across all eight campuses.
The college transformed large areas such as sports halls, theatres, restaurants and common rooms into safe and efficient testing centres and co-ordinated the huge logistical operation with the help of staff and a very mature attitude from students.
The Health & Social Care students put the skills they have learnt from their course into practice by helping with the initiative – setting out equipment, teaching others how to administer the lateral flow tests and generally putting those with fears at ease.
One of the volunteers said: “We enjoyed it and it was a great opportunity for us to get some experience in a health and care role. We had to make sure everything was sanitised, we helped anyone who was having difficulty with the instructions and we also tried to make the students who were nervous feel more comfortable about it.”
The Havering students included sixth-formers JuniaSutherland, Arafat Oyenuga, Laura Oguala, Stephaney Antwi,Lily Marum, Ruby Bickell, Hanani Mukendi and Lija Giniotyte.
From the Ardleigh Green campus, the students were Destiny Fateh, Sophie Neglia and Louise Kelly-Orme, with adult students Jasmine Otopah and Lucy Murphy, from the Access to Health Care Professions course, also helping.
Paul Nutter, Deputy Principal of Havering Sixth Form, said: “These students were absolutely fantastic in helping with our Covid testing programme. They went above and beyond, worked long hours and always had a smile on their faces.
“The way they approached this volunteering opportunity has shown that they will be valuable employees in the health and care sector in the future. All the staff involved in the testing process commented on their attitude and ability to just get on with the job. They really are a credit to themselves and the college.”
He added that it was crucial that students continued to test twice a week using the home testing kits that the college has provided, to help keep everyone safe.
New City College is one of the country’s leading college groups comprising Epping Forest, Hackney, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Havering colleges, as well as Attlee A Level Academy and Havering Sixth Form.