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Durham University

University and City: Growing together

Latest News and Updates

Keep up to date with all the latest news and updates.

Stepping up our efforts in the COVID-19 fightback

(28 April 2020)

Dr Fiona Shenton helping with virus testing

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak continues to mean huge changes for us as a University, but as well as adapting how we teach, study and work, we are increasingly contributing to the local, national and international effort against the pandemic.

Supporting health services

We’re doing everything we can to support health services in responding to the virus.

For example, our technicians are printing face shields using 3D printers. They are making about 100 each week for use by health workers in hospitals.

Our bioscientists are helping with virus testing at a local hospital; and our Engineering technicians have manufactured over 1,000 visors for health workers.

One visor recipient said these were much easier to work with than goggles and helped both patients and medical practitioners feel they were taking all precautions to keep everyone safe and well. 

Support the economy and the arts

Experts from our Business School are offering free advice to businesses on how to survive the economic impact of the pandemic. Businesses interested in getting support should contact:

And we’re working with Durham County Council to present an online theatre festival titled ‘Onstage: Online’. The festival will run from Thursday 11 to Sunday 14 June, with theatre streamed live each day on YouTube.

Supporting charities and good causes

Many of our staff and students are doing great work raising money for charities and good causes that are involved in the COVID-19 response.

Students from our Netball Club have been running 1,407km, the length of the United Kingdom, to raise money for the National Health Service (NHS) Charities Together.

Tennis Club members have been running 1,000km, the distance from Durham to Wimbledon, the home of British tennis, and back, for the same charity and our Cricket Club has donated £2,000 to charity, split between the NHS charity and a local foodbank.

Finally, Research Fellow Gillian Willmore, though she is asthmatic and aged over 70, is climbing 66m – the height of the Durham Cathedral tower – on her stairs every day to raise money for the St John Ambulance charity. She eventually hopes to climb 8,848m, the height of Mount Everest.

Stay safe, stay in touch

We know this is a concerning time for many of us. We wish everyone good health. Please stay safe and stay in touch.