Last month we, along with colleagues in the Alumni team, asked for your stories of how you are helping in during the pandemic as part of the #NotAllHeroesWearCapes campaign. We were delighted to see the many ways our LSE community has found to help people during this pandemic. Here we feature eight of these stories from our students and alumni.
Portering for the NHS
“I was put on furlough by work but very quickly became restless with nothing to do. I began portering at St.Mary’s and then transferred to Hammersmith. Now I’m providing domestic services at night in the intensive care ward. The hardest part is actually staying awake – I always thought of myself as a morning person but certainly not 4am in the morning!” Harry Prosser MSc International History 2019.
Community Kitchen and blood donation
“I’ve collaborated with community kitchens and served meals, rations and other essential supplies to 800-1000 migrant workers who were staying in government relief camps. I have also been leading a blood donation campaign across India. We raised more than 20,000 donors and provided help to more than 300 patients in just 15 days of launching the helpline.” Aditi Chaturvedi, MSc Management 2008.
Making masks for key workers and the community
“I’ve been making medical gowns and medical masks with my sewing machine. I’ve then been giving the items in partnership with the Red Cross to various care homes in my town. I’ve also been giving out the fabric masks to the citizens of my town and we have been organising collections, raising awareness through Facebook.” Jeanne Rouot
BSc Geography and Economics 2022.
Raising money for refugees in Uganda
“In times of crisis, people tend to focus inward and initially we did exactly that – our priorities centred on our immediate families and friends. However, a segment by Al-Jazeera Insider changed that. It highlighted the refugee crisis on the Greek Islands where there are funding shortages and difficulties getting supplies that can help combat the disease at the camps. The piece resonated led us to think about the potential impact COVID-19 could have if it were to hit refugee camps in Africa. We decided to start a crowdfunding campaign called We Care. We hope to raise $20,000 towards the purchase of essential food and hygiene items needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the Bidi Bidi camp in Uganda.” Innocent Anguyo, MSc Development Management 2018 and Pinaman Owusu-Banahene, MSc Management 2019.
“As graduate medical students, my friend Ronald and I knew we were too junior to serve alongside our teachers, colleagues, and friends, but we were very keen to support them. Ronald and I worked in the tech industry before starting medicine, so we decided to create an app called HealthSHIP UK. The app matches health and social care staff and their needs with local student volunteers. It is also being used by organisations like care homes and GP surgeries to request help with admin and non-clinical tasks.” Cassandra Baiano, MSc Health, Community, and Development 2015.
Volunteering with St Mary’s Hospital
“I was very concerned by the situation and wanted to help as much as I could. I searched for a volunteering opportunity and found out that St Mary’s was looking for volunteers. I got in touch via their website and that’s how this amazing experience started! Our work at St Mary’s is mainly focused on logistics, and organising lunch time for the staff. We’re also in charge of a free shop in the hospital that is supplied for by donations. We also deliver many donations to the staff such as Easter eggs, biscuits, water etc.” Léna Petit, MSc Criminal Justice Policy 2020.
Supporting workers in Indonesia
“Self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic highly affects the living condition of informal workers and daily wage earners. Our initiative distributed packages consisting of food rations, fabric masks, and hand soap to 310 families in need. We work together with 15 heads of neighbourhood associations to identify the recipients. The team distributed vouchers to those families to verify their identities and residences. Then, volunteers from the neighbourhood’s women association, youth organisation, and security team, distribute the food packages door-to-door.” Amirah Kaca Sumarto, MPA Institute of Public Affairs 2017.
“I’m a MSc student at LSE and I’m doing lockdown in a small student accommodation here in London. It’s hard times for all of us, so I’m trying to lift people up by organising free dance classes and guitar lives through my instagam account, @dariadler. I believe mental health is especially important now, that’s why I hope moving and singing along with me will make people happier while staying home.“ Dariga Mukhamedina, MSc International Relations 2020.
Thank you to all our LSE members who shared their inspirational stories with us as part of #NotAllHeroesWearCapes. If this blog has inspired you to volunteer, check out our blog on COVID-19 volunteering or one of our other 100+ ongoing opportunities. You can also book a one-to-one with David Coles, the Volunteer Centre Manager if you have more questions. And why not follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date with our events and opportunities and read our blog for more volunteering tips and stories.