Students nurses who joined the frontline to help the battle against coronavirus in the UK are receiving support through the University of Stirling’s partnership with Santander Universities.
As part of the Scottish and UK Governments’ emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 400 Stirling student nurses volunteered to fulfil their placements on the frontline as paid members of NHS staff, while they still continued to work towards their degrees.
While students have been on their placements they have received vital support from Student Support Services, the Students’ Union, and the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport at the university.
However, these services were bolstered by funding from Santander Universities, due to its ongoing partnership with Stirling University.
Additionally this has led to the creation of an online support platform for third year nursing students.
Due to this, students based on placements outside the Forth Valley area are still able to access any help and support they need, regardless of where they are working or learning.
Commenting on the situation Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling said: “I am incredibly proud of the response of our students and staff to the COVID-19 pandemic. Four hundred of our student nurses have joined the frontline to support the NHS and make a difference at this unprecedented and challenging time.
“We prioritise the health and wellbeing of our community and are extremely grateful to Santander Universities for providing this funding, which has helped us further enhance the support available to our student nurses on placement and others across the University.”
“This donation further demonstrates the value of this important, long-standing partnership.”
Stirling University’s partnership with Santander Universities began in 2012, it was then renewed for three more years in 2018.
Throughout the pat year Santander Universities have provided more than £4.5 million to 85 UK universities.
Usual Stirling uses the £75,000 it receives from the fund to support enterprise, employability, and education initiatives.
However, due to the coronavirus pandemic restricting those activities, Santander generously agreed that some of the funding could be used as further support to student nurses.
From the funding going towards student nurses, it has created a new online platform which allows third-year nursing students to access mentorship, and support required to help develop coping techniques, provide peer reflection, and build resilience during challenging times.
Additionally, it allows students to keep a sense of community, the programme will be adapted, in line with the feedback received, and will be used beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only will the funding be used to help student nurses, it will also be used to support the University’s Hardship Fund, where it will support students who have been adversely affected due to COVID-19, which includes those who incurred increased costs as a result of the travel restrictions introduced to combat the virus.
Commenting Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK, said: “Santander is committed to supporting higher education as well as local communities across the UK, so we’re pleased that our funding is able to be redirected to where it is most needed at this critical time.
“Universitiesare doing some fantastic work to contribute to the UK’s effort to combat the outbreak of COVID-19, so we’re delighted to collaborate with our university partners in a way which increases their response effort. We look forward to continuing to work with them on supporting both students and the broader higher education community with further initiatives over the coming months.”
Image credit: Brig Newspaper