Find out how together we’re helping the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic

#WeAreTogether Universities supporting the national effort against COVID-19

Today, Universities UK has launched #WeAreTogether, a new digital campaign to showcase how universities are contributing to the national effort against Covid-19, and promote messages of solidarity, support and gratitude at this challenging time.

Coinciding with World Health Day (Tuesday 7 April 2020) the campaign will begin with a show of appreciation to university students and staff involved in frontline NHS services, including nurses, midwives and doctors (including those still in training). This initial focus will broaden to include further strands, including the provision of resources and work to support local communities.

Together, the university sector is carrying out vital medical research into a possible vaccine; providing much-needed equipment, facilities and extra staff to frontline NHS services; and is exploring ways to support the people’s health and wellbeing through this difficult time.

A collection of case studies forms part of the #WeAreTogether campaign and shows how everyone in our society benefits from universities.

Case studies featured include our University community’s collaborative efforts to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on society, including:

  • How scientists from our Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease have worked with the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Virology team to sequence the first two genomes of Covid-19, with samples collected from patients treated in the UK. This evidence helps the global science community to understand how this virus is spreading and changing, and it is this type of information that will eventually help to develop a vaccine. Dr Thushan de Silva’s team has now been asked to be part of a national consortium to sequence as many UK genomes as possible.
  • How scientists in our Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health and beyond are diverting their skills, laboratories and equipment to help with clinical testing.
  • Our involvement in the Ventilator Challenge UK, an industrial consortium to accelerate the production of thousands of ventilators to treat patients.
  • How we’ve made the Arts Tower car park available free of charge to medical staff.
  • Changing our final assessment process, following guidance from the Medical Schools Council, to allow our final-year medical students to graduate, and begin practising, earlier than usual to support our Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and frontline NHS staff.
  • How our medical students in earlier cohorts are also volunteering their services to doctors, nurses and healthcare workers. Driven by the desire to help their future colleagues, they have asked healthcare workers to let them know how they can support them and have been volunteering their time on multiple tasks - from childcare to prescription collections.
  • How research from our psychologists is helping us to understand the mental health and social impacts of the pandemic on the behaviour of UK citizens.

How you can get involved:

You can join the campaign using #WeAreTogether on any posts relating to Covid-19, and there are also a number of social media assets you can download and share, including email signatures, graphics and banners.

Download #WeAreTogether assets

Follow Universities UK on Twitter and LinkedIn and share/retweet their posts where appropriate.

Showcasing your amazing research and innovation

We also have a new web page for all the amazing research you are doing to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on society, with a rapid response through research, collaboration and volunteering.

We would love to hear about all your contributions to the national effort against Covid-19. If you have any suggestions for content that you would like us to consider, please email externalrelations@sheffield.ac.uk.