The rapid spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is significantly impacting on the lives and livelihoods of millions of people around the world. At Engineers Without Borders UK we take the health and safety of all people seriously; we want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to deliver business as usual and we are committed to continuously reviewing what more we can do as a movement to ensure engineering is focused on serving all people and the planet better than ever before, including during this global pandemic.
What this means for our movement
The engineering community has an important role in responding to Coronavirus and reducing the spread of the peak. We urge you to help if you can. The UK Government has recently issued a request for support from engineering firms (particularly those in manufacturing) to support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components to help cope with the increasing outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). UK hospitals currently have about 5,000 ventilators but more are needed to treat patients with serious cases of COVID-19. If you work for a firm that can help out, register to help.
We will continue to assess opportunities for the engineering community to play its part in supporting the global response to the pandemic and will keep you updated.
At Engineers Without Borders UK, we are confident that we can continue to deliver on our commitments whilst also ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our movement, the community of people who benefit from our work and our staff. To do this, we’ve made a few changes to the way we work and some upcoming events:
- Inspiring Community Leaders: We’ve reimagined our Inspiring Community Leaders event for student chapters and design challenge academics so that it is now online. You can find out about getting involved with Engineers Without Borders UK if you’re a university student or academic by signing up now.
- Community events: We’re asking our community to move all their events and meetings online until further notice in order to help reduce the speed with which Coronavirus is spreading. If you’re concerned about an event or were planning an Engineers Without Borders event and you’d like help with moving it online, please get in touch by emailing [email protected].
- Design Challenges: The Engineering for People Design Challenge and Efficiency for Access Design Challenge are still going ahead as planned. All the resources are online, our team continues to provide support remotely and student teams can still submit their ideas to enter the Grand Finals. The Grand Finals are still scheduled to go ahead in June and we will keep you updated should there be any changes to the format or timing. We’re still looking for people to review student design ideas as part of the Engineering for People Design Challenge. As an expert reviewer you will make an invaluable contribution to the work we do by providing university students with professional feedback, helping to shape the engineers of tomorrow (and you can do it all from your own home). If you have any questions or concerns please do get in touch with our team by emailing [email protected].
- Workshops in schools: We have postponed delivery of any youth outreach workshops until further notice. The workshop resources are all online and the facilitator’s packs include instructions so that parents can use them whilst looking after children at home.
- International projects: We took the decision last year to pause our international projects and the last one was completed in December. However, we are reaching out to the partner organisations we have worked with and will inform our community if there are opportunities to provide remote support during this uncertain time.
- Our office: Following the government’s advice earlier this week, our staff team are now working from home and our office is closed until further notice. We were already remote work enabled but having everyone work from home is a new challenge! We’re still here to support you and you can still contact us on the phone or via email. Our main contact details can be found here and we look forward to hearing from you.
How else you can help
During this time of uncertainty, many people will be facing challenges of their own and we actively encourage everyone to consider supporting others. Something you can do right now is think about reaching out to your community; neighbours, family and friends who may need help with shopping, collecting prescriptions or who simply need to chat. Find a local group coordinating community action via the COVID-19 mutual aid website.
We hope that you, your families and friends are staying safe and healthy. Everything is up in the air right now and it’s important we stick together and look after one another and the wider global community.