Development & Alumni Relations Office 


03 April 2020

Queen's Universty research continues to address COVID-19 related challenges that society is facing. And we are also reaching out to graduates to offer other forms of help during what is an uncertain and rapidly changing time.

From repurposing existing drugs as potential anti-viral therapeutics, to 3D printing of essential face masks to protect Northern Ireland healthcare workers, the University is at the heart of efforts to understand the coronavirus.

Making a difference

Queen’s graduates who want to support others facing significant challenges at this difficult time are encouraged to consider volunteering in their local communities. One opportunity to do this in Northern Ireland is for you to get in touch with Volunteer Now, a leading organisation for promoting volunteering across Northern Ireland, to see if you can be of direct support to those most at risk.

“Volunteer Now has initiated a #HelpEachOther campaign to enable people – including Queen’s alumni – to get involved and offer help during what is an unprecedented time, said Andy Nisbet Friel, Alumni Engagement Officer, Queen’s University Belfast.

“Registration is available via a pop up box on their home page for anyone able to provide support as the pandemic progresses,” he added.

Staying healthy physically and emotionally

On a different note entirely, Queen’s Sport is offering students, staff and graduates now on lockdown a chance to ‘keep active’ during the coming weeks. In partnership with Healthy Campus Framework in Staff Wellbeing and Student Wellbeing those WFH (Working From Home) will be able to access online content including regular daily fitness activities, mental and wellbeing advice, sports blogs, and much more.

Join Mo, Helen and Andrew Raeburn via Twitter and Facebook…and remember access to the classes is free!  

The Development and Alumni Relations Office has started to publish a weekly Quick Fire Alumni Quiz each Friday afternoon to keep graduates thinking over the weekend. With a range of ten questions covering a broad variety of topics, entries can be submitted to for those wishing to challenge for a small prize.  

“It’s really just for a bit of fun,” said Communications Officer, Gerry Power, “though it does have a more serious side.

“Anything we can do to alleviate the stress of this awful situation for our graduates and others, has to be a good thing. And it lets alumni know that we are still keen to connect with them during this difficult time.”  

Over the coming weeks the University will be delivering a series of online talks from experts across faculties who will bring their area of expertise to life with interesting activities that people can try at home.

These Lockdown Learning sessions will cover a host of topics including how to write a novel, sleep counselling and Maths puzzles, all of which will be available to access through the University's social media channels.  

Recognising others

Graduates can also nominate their ‘Lockdown Legends’ – people who have made a big effort during the Covid-19 crisis, via the University’s main Twitter account.

So far the ‘Lockdown Legends’ Hall of Fame includes University coronavirus researchers, members of the Welfare Taskforce for Malaysian Students Abroad and local landlord Charlie Harington (who works for Qubis at Queen’s), who has offered his property (via Airbnb) to NHS workers fighting the pandemic.

“Nominations are open to members of the wider Queen’s family and to anyone helping their local community during COVID-19,” said Andy Nisbet Friel.

“And we’ll make sure that all Queen’s students and graduates nominated as ‘Lockdown Legends’ will be automatically entered in this year’s AIB (NI) Queen’s Graduate and Student of the Year Awards.”

Watch out on social media and on our website for additional initiatives organised or promoted by Queen’s to help everyone get through the coronavirus crisis.  

COVID-19 rapid response innovation fund 

Your support will help our work to produce innovative protective equipment for healthcare workers as well as using simulation-based training to equip our students in the healthcare professions with the skills and confidence required for their early entry into the mainline workforce.

If you would like to make a gift to support the University in its efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, please click here.

To read more about the important research and development initiatives Queen’s is undertaking in response to the pandemic, please click here.

Queen’s Development and Alumni Relations Office will endeavour to remain in contact with graduates and donors, and to support (online) networking initiatives to keep alumni and supporters connected at this difficult time.

For general enquiries about this story or to submit a graduate news item, please contact Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO), Queen’s University Belfast, on telephone: +44 (0)28 9097 5321.

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