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New City College supporting our local communities in the fight against COVID-19

Alongside a swift transition to online teaching, learning and support for around 20,000 students and apprentices, New City College staff are working with local organisations to support the community and front line services.

The college has donated significant stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) from its science, health & social care, and construction departments, with college staff making personal deliveries to their local hospitals.

New City College has campuses across East London and South Essex so has been able to help and deliver kit across the area.

This includes:

*Hundreds of safety goggles to Newham Hospital.

*Head caps, gloves, shoulder covers, goggles, aprons and gloves donated to St John's Ambulance for distribution to the NHS

*Over 100 boxes of disposable gloves and safety goggles to Community First Responders, a volunteer rapid response support for the London Ambulance Service.

*Varied PPE to Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Trust Hospital Volunteer Service which supports Queen's and King George's Hospitals.

Furthermore, health care apprentices at the Lewisham and Greenwich Trust are working in ICUs to directly support patients with covid-19, and staff volunteering on the front line have been released from college duties on full pay.

New City College Group Principal Gerry McDonald said

Each day I am impressed and humbled by the actions of staff from across our organisation. They have developed innovative ways to teach and support our students remotely and are also doing all that they can to support local communities and the front line health care teams.

New City College is also in active discussion with local authorities about how its role can develop over the coming weeks and months to provide vital services that the community might need. This could include setting up as a food or medical supplies distribution centre, for example.

While the vast majority of students are learning at home, some of the college's campuses have remained open to support the most vulnerable students who need to attend, with skeleton staff providing meals and a safe environment. Those who are learning at home are being encouraged to work hard and complete assignments remotely so that they can be awarded the grades that they deserve, even without their scheduled summer exams. Those who need additional support can get in touch with college counsellors and advisers and hundreds of students are receiving an allowance direct to their bank accounts in place of the free college meals they would have received on campus.

It's important that students look to their next step in education, when we have come out of lockdown. Instead of planned open days at its campuses last week, the college created a virtual open day website which attracted almost 5,000 visitors.

This is an unprecedented situation, which has presented challenges across all areas of life. New City College has certainly stepped up to the challenge and will continue to do so, to support a positive future for its students and the wider local community.

New City College supporting our local communities in the fight against COVID-19