University of Chichester joins fight against coronavirus

The University of Chichester has joined the government’s call to help in the collective fight against coronavirus.

Monday, 4th May 2020, 10:44 am

Its scientists, students, administrators, and teachers from its academy trust have pooled their knowledge and resources to make sure those at most risk are protected from the disease, including NHS and care-home key workers.

So far hundreds of pieces of protective equipment have been given to frontline staff, while its hundreds of IT-processers have been remotely loaned to a US supercomputer developing a vaccine.

Protective equipment for frontline NHS and care-home workers

University staff have made hundreds of PPE items at its science labs for NHS hospitals and care homes in West Sussex and Hampshire

Hundreds of facemasks and ear-protectors have been made by University scientists and teachers from one of its academy trust school.

The joint effort has so far created more than 250 items of personal protective equipment, known as PPE, which is remains in short supply across the UK with hospitals and care-homes using thousands of items every week, a Univeristy spokesman said.

The University readied the science labs at its £35million Tech Park, located at its Bognor Regis campus, to produce facemasks using its advanced 3D printers, which have since been given to NHS hospitals in West Sussex and Hampshire.

They were joined by teachers and technicians from its Oakmoor academy trust school, in Hampshire, which also created ear defenders that help prevent sores which occur when wearing the facemasks for hours at a time.

The power from hundreds of high-powered computers at the University's new Tech Park has been lent to a supercomputer in the USA developing a vaccine

Re-routing CPU processers to USA supercomputer developing vaccine

The processing power of nearly 150 of the University’s most-powerful PCs has been re-directed to a supercomputer in the USA which is currently developing a coronavirus vaccine.

The specialised machines, located in the Tech Park, were used by animation students – but, with the UK now in lockdown, have been connected together to produce extraordinary processing power given to the [email protected] COVID-19 project in Washington DC.

Remarkably, the enormous power needed to run these machines is completely eco-friendly, as it is taken from energy produced by the many solar panels sitting on top of the Tech Park.

In the two weeks since joining [email protected], alongside 2.5million other processors worldwide, the University has found itself in the top one per cent of donors by the amount of work completed.

Housing medical professionals in campus halls

NHS staff at Chichester’s hospital have been housed in the University’s student accommodation for the duration of the pandemic. The on-campus halls have been opened to nurses and medical professionals from Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Critically, the accommodation is less than a five-minute walk to the specialist COVID-19 wards so that staff can get to and from work safely while avoiding other key workers entering and leaving the hospital.

Re-creating classrooms for families with young children in lockdown

A new University guide is helping families with young children recreate the classroom at home while in lockdown. The booklet, for kids between zero and five-years-old, has specifically been made free-of-charge with hundreds of low-cost, interactive, and engaging learning ideas to help parents and carers from all backgrounds during the pandemic.

The guide follows the Department of Education's learning and development curriculum for the early-years foundation stage, and has been developed by education lecturer and former nursery worker Debra Laxton.

University vocalist records song with Dire Straits for NHS ‘heroes’

A University lecturer has collaborated with legendary band Dire Straits to write and record a new song in aid of the NHS.

Hold on Tight, which is out now, was released by head of voice Susan Legg and keyboard player Guy Fletcher - also of Roxy Music - to raise money for frontline healthcare workers.

The song also features the London Metropolitan Orchestra and has already made more than £1,500 since its release in late April.

Unusually, owing to lockdown restrictions, the musicians recorded their part alone before sending the tracks to Susan's husband, Stephen Baysted, who himself is a world-renowned composer and Professor of film, TV, and games composition at the University.

For more about how the University of Chichester is continuing to support frontline workers and help the collective effort against the coronavirus go to