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Lancaster University Covid-19 Emergency Support Fund

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The Coronavirus pandemic presents an unprecedented global challenge. We have established the Covid-19 Emergency Support Fund to help us respond to this fast-developing situation. 

As an institution, we are contributing in many ways to help the global response to the pandemic. This includes our scientists working on various projects such as fast testing and new operating models to protect front-line medical staff from the virus. We are collaborating closely with the NHS, local government, our regional community and local businesses, harnessing the resources of the University to support national and regional efforts wherever we can. We are also continuing to look after the welfare of our students, whether they remain on our campus or are forced to study remotely.

This new fund will help us support the following key areas:

  • Ensure that students who are being forced to self-isolate on campus are given access to all they need during this difficult period.
    This might include providing food and basic care packages for students who are unable to leave their campus accommodation
    due to self-isolating regulations.
  • Provide emergency funds for students who are now experiencing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic,
    wherever they are currently. For example, some students have lost vital sources of income – either their own employment
    or a loss of family resources – that are critical to support their studies and basic living expense.
  • Support the manufacture and distribution of vital equipment to front-line medical services, including the use of 3-D printers
    and a repurposing of PPE equipment.
  • Fund small research projects that contribute to the global fightback against Covid-19, but for which institutional or statutory
    funding is unavailable.

Vitally, we want to support our medical school students and recent graduates who are working on the front-line to help combat the virus. These students are now providing essential support to hospitals across the North West. We want to ensure that they do not fall into financial difficulties during this challenging time and ultimately, thank them for their selflessness and dedication.

For those of us at home who face the challenge of self-isolation and social-distancing from those we love, being unable to contribute physically to this global effort can leave us feeling helpless. Any donation you can make will help us respond positively to the challenges of Covid-19 and together we can make a real difference."

Professor Dame Sue Black, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement

Click here to find out how Lancaster University is helping to tackle the Coronavirus crisis

If you would like to speak to us about making a donation, please email Nick Fragel, our Director of Development and Alumni Relations at or call 07817 687 115.

How the Covid-19 Emergency support fund is supporting Medical students


  • What impact has Covid-19 had on your studies and placements?

    Covid-19 has meant our final year placements have been cut short so that we have graduated to working as foundation doctors several months earlier than usual and without having completed a significant part of the medical student training.

    It has also meant that we have lost a lot of clinical and in-practice learning which is a critical part of our development. Instead we have become more reliant on remote and self-taught learning, but these more academic resources are less applicable to our current stage than hands- on experience and clinical exposure.

  • What are the main challenges you have faced when working on the front-line to help combat the virus?

    The step up between medical school and working as an FiY1 (Foundation interim Year 1) is challenging at the best of times and to have to do that during a pandemic is even more stressful.

    Hospital teams are currently under increased pressure so there is less time and availability for people to help and guide you when starting out in a new role where you need significant support. All of our day to day medical tasks have also had to be adapted to ensure they are Covid-19 secure.

    In addition, general disruption throughout the hospital and change of teams and working patterns to respond to Covid-19 means the usual support systems and methods of accessing help have been disrupted for new doctors.

    There are also further concerns about what this might mean for the NHS, our roles and working in hospital going forward and so there is increased uncertainty about both our current and future careers. All of these added difficulties are also experienced at a point where our training has been cut short and disrupted, so we already feel less prepared than would ordinarily be the case.

  • How has your time at Lancaster and on your course prepared you for working on the front-line?

    The medical knowledge we have accumulated throughout the previous four and a half years has helped provide us with the foundations we need to understand and care for patients’ medical needs.

    The priority that Lancaster medical school places on early clinical exposure has also helped us establish the core clinical competencies and practical skills needed to perform in the role and help contribute to the medical team's ability to look after patients.

    Emphasis in the curriculum on self-directed learning and reflection on our own strengths/weaknesses also helped us to recognise our own competencies, identify areas we are confident about working in and those where we need to address further learning needs or require further support to provide the highest quality care.


  • What could small donations from the Covid-19 Emergency Support Fund help you with on a personal level?

    Donations would be very valuable in helping with the financial costs associated with graduating and working earlier than anticipated. The Covid-19 Emergency Support fund could help with our union, indemnity and General Medical Council membership costs for which we are now liable.

    The fund could also help to cover some of our travel and accommodation costs which would significantly help relieve some stresses at this time, especially with high relocation costs and having to move between hospital trusts in different parts of the country at short notice whilst also trying to prepare for starting work.

    Support and care packages would also be a significant help for workers' mental and physical health and overall wellbeing at this time. Long shifts and being under pressure the whole day often means there is little time to stop and eat, rest or get a hot drink and then even less opportunity to shop and meet our needs outside of work. Financial support to help with our personal care and wellbeing and having the opportunity to buy a nutritious, hot meal or coffee etc when we have had little opportunity to shop or prepare makes a huge difference. The fund could also help support us in purchasing valuable resources for starting in our new roles, such as medical textbooks, clinical guides, medical app downloads or having essential reliable electronic equipment.

What your donations can support

Each and every donation to the Lancaster University Covid-19 Emergency Support fund will help to make a real difference to our medical students currently fighting the virus on the front line. Many of our final year medics graduated early and are now in the process of starting their Foundation Interim Year 1 which can be a very challenging and often costly process with many having to pay for relocation costs, union memberships and learning resources. Find out more below about how your support can help these students through the early stages of their medical career as they continue to provide frontline medical support in these unprecedented times.

  • A single gift of £15 can pay for a Oxford Handbook which is a vital learning resource for all FiY1 doctors.
  • A donation of £20 can pay for a graduating doctors Medical Defence Union membership.
  • A single donation of £50 can cover a doctors provisional General Medical Council membership fees, and a gift of £156 can help to pay for their full registration.
  • A gift of £75 can pay for the first year of an FiY1 doctors’ access to the British Medical Journal of Best Practice.
  • A donation of £230 can cover the annual cost of a new doctors British Medical Association membership.

Contact Us

By Post

Development and Alumni Relations
C Floor
University House
Lancaster University
Bailrigg, Lancaster
United Kingdom

By Phone

Nick Fragel

Director of Development and Alumni Relations

T: 07817 687 115

By Email

Contact a member of our team directly.

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View our Fundraising Promise and Formal Complaints Process.