Colleges Week 2020 – COVID-19 response

South Essex College is supporting Colleges Week this week. Today’s theme focuses on the sector’s COVID-19 response. It’s been an incredibly tough time for everyone trying to adjust to the ‘new normal.’ The further and higher education sectors have had to adapt to new ways of working including studying and working from home. Students and staff still found time to help the national and local COVID-19 response during lockdown.

Costume Construction students Dani Labruyere and Chloe Stockwell made scrubs while lecturer Emma Bowers created ‘ear savers’ which sit at the back of the head, the facemask elastic goes over the buttons making them more comfortable to wear during shifts.

Meanwhile Animal Science student Alicia Chambers made a selection of ear savers and masks from home despite only having a ‘very small amount’ of sewing experience. She decided to follow online tutorials to learn how to do it and pick up a new hobby at the same time.

Engineering staff at the college also produced almost 200 plastic ‘ear savers’ for health workers. Mark Dickson, Engineering Lecturer, used equipment at the college’s Luckyn Lane site in Basildon to produce the items. 

All items were donated to the NHS and other healthcare organisations to support staff during the pandemic.

Staff also donated food, toiletries and other essentials to support Age Concern Southend during the lockdown.

Generous contributions of toiletries, soups, cereals, UHT Milk, biscuits, teabags and tinned food were collected to help the charity create care packages for vulnerable members of the community.

For more information about South Essex College’s response to COVID-19, visit: