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MDX nominated for UK Business Heroes campaign for vital research and community efforts during COVID-19 pandemic

Middlesex University was one of three nominations made by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry from its nearly 2,000 members

Middlesex University is delighted to have been nominated in the UK Businesses Heroes campaign run by the British Chamber of Commerce for the inspiring efforts of staff and students to help the NHS and local community during the pandemic.

The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry chose the university as one its three nominations in the capital from nearly 2,000 members in recognition of the outstanding work that has taken place at Middlesex since the outbreak of the virus earlier this year.

While the university stopped face-to-face teaching in March, staff and students have launched vital research projects, community initiatives and helped in any way possible in the fight against coronavirus.

"From manufacturing over 65,000 NHS face visors, to staff returning to front line nursing, and the contributions they have made to research, Middlesex University have truly gone the extra mile, " Richard Burge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The UK Business Heroes nomination form explains the admirable range of practical contributions at Middlesex University including how:

  • More than 70 staff volunteers manufactured 67,200 face visors for the NHS using a design enhanced by Middlesex researchers. They also designed and produced gowns, scrubs and face coverings for use in NHS hospitals through repurposing University facilities to create a COVID-safe workspace and starting a home working operation for staff, supported by the local London Fire Brigade and the NHS;
  • About 500 nursing students and staff from the University returned to the front line in London hospitals;
  • Nineteen Middlesex academics registered as consultants to government in relation to the pandemic via the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST);
  • MDX researchers published research papers and blogs which informed public debate, practice and policymaking;
  • The University launched 41 research projects directly connected to COVID, with grant applications leading to more than £1m of funding for work on topics as varied as novel diagnostic technologies, the effect of COVID on diabetics, and understanding the resistance to face mask use – the latter was covered extensively by UK and US media
  • MDX offered 17 pieces of research equipment for use by public health agencies and equipment for deployment in the NHS;
  • Academics constructed an (online) 'Back to clinical practice COVID-19' course hosted by the Capital Nurse programme, providing rapid skills updating and nursing practice awareness in the context of COVID for all nurses returning to practice in the pandemic;
  • Contributed to Together in Mind, a wellbeing and mental health project that supports the North Central and North East London health and social care workforce during the pandemic;
  • Assisted London charities in responding to the emergency – for example helping the Nations Africa Centre to distribute food across north London from the university campus and helping Kahve-Society make and distribute visors for NHS staff

UK business heroes 2020 image

Nic Beech, Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University, said: “This has been an extremely difficult year for students and staff after the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns changed life for everyone.

“We have been determined from the outset to use our wealth of talent and expertise to collaborate with other universities and experts to improve treatments and testing, while supporting our students and staff and ensuring we continue to provide the highest level of education.

“The depth of community spirit and the way people immediately stepped forward to help others in need as the pandemic spread across the country has been truly inspiring.

“Our range of contributions has made me extremely proud. I want to thank all the many workers whose important contributions are sometimes less acknowledged, including our university staff who have continued to work on site in health and safety and facilities, the staff providing support and care online and I’d also like to praise the hundreds of students nurses and academic staff who admirably joined the frontline in an unimaginably tough conditions to help the NHS in its hour of greatest need.

“While 2020 has been perhaps the most challenging year in living memory, it has shown how Middlesex is an institution which is full of community spirt and cares passionately about helping others less fortunate through its academic endeavours and the efforts of staff and students.”

The UK Business Heroes campaign, which was launched to recognise the “incredible work UK businesses are doing in the most challenging of years”, has been featuring various case studies on the British Chamber of Commerce website.

Middlesex University are a valued Patron Member of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

Richard Burge, Chief Executive of the LCCI, said: "We were delighted to nominate Middlesex University for the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) UK Business Heroes Award 2020, in recognition of the hard work and dedication the university, its staff and students have made in the fight against Covid-19.

"From manufacturing over 65,000 NHS face visors, to staff returning to front line nursing, and the contributions they have made to research, Middlesex University have truly gone the extra mile.."

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