Supporting our communities

We continue to work closely with government, local authorities and the NHS to support the fight against coronavirus.

Wellbeing volunteer

We have launched a number of new research studies to develop understanding of Covid-19 and its impact on people physically, emotionally, socially and economically as well as its' wider society impacts. Our School of Medicine and Dentistry is also involved in supporting research into Covid-19 prevention and treatment. For more details on these studies please visit our dedicated Coronavirus news pages.

Our Covid-19 response work has not been limited to research, and we have been responding to immediate local needs since the first lockdown in March 2020. This has included:

  • Releasing our clinical staff from their academic duties to take up roles in local NHS trusts.
  • Training medical students to offer immediate frontline support to doctors and nurses in adult critical care wards at the Royal London Hospital.
  • Releasing diagnostic equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the NHS.
  • Increasing Covid-19 testing capacity as part of the Testing Alliance, Queen Mary laboratories will be used to deliver large-scale diagnostic capabilities to increase testing capacity by 20,500 a day.
  • Hosting Tower Hamlets’ first vaccination centre on our Mile End campus.
  • Donating PPE equipment used in our research laboratories to a local hospice and a community group involved in providing meals to older residents in Tower Hamlets.
  • Making parking spaces on our campuses available for NHS workers.
  • Offering accommodation vacated by students to the NHS and Tower Hamlets Council.
  • Offering free hot and chilled meals for local families and homeless organisations during school holiday periods.
  • Launching the Arts and Culture Support Centre, a series of new initiatives to support people working in the arts who are facing huge challenges as a result of Covid-19. 

Learn more about how staff and students can support their local communities below. 

If you are providing support, keep safe and follow government advice to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Do not put yourself or others at risk if you feel unwell.

If you know any Queen Mary students or staff who have gone the extra mile during this emergency, get in touch with the PR team.

Festival of communities volunteer


Queen Mary staff wanting to volunteer to support their local communities in response to the pandemic can find Covid-19 response volunteering opportunities here.

Staff wishing to volunteer in their communities more broadly should visit our Volunteering Hub.


Queen Mary students who wish to volunteer should register with QMSU Volunteering, Queen Mary’s volunteering programme based in the Students’ Union. By doing so, students can find opportunities to volunteer across London and log hours spent volunteering to work towards volunteering awards.

Other ways to support communities during the pandemic

Donate food and toiletries to a foodbank 

Some foodbanks may prefer to receive financial donations rather than physical donations at this time to prevent people leaving their houses to drop off items. Please check with your local foodbank. 

Donate to support community action

Support the East End Emergency Fund and help keep the most vulnerable people in the community safe and well. Your donation will be match funded by Canary Wharf Group for the first £50,000 and will go to charitable projects in east London that care for those most at risk from coronavirus.

Donations will help community organisations across London struggling to meet demand for local services while trying to operate with significantly less resource. Many are now forced to rapidly rethink how they can deliver services. They often rely heavily on volunteers to deliver their services and are already experiencing a loss of income from fundraising events and activities. These vital voluntary and community sector groups and organisations need to survive – find out more and donate

The NET is running an appeal to raise funds for local charities and grassroots organisations that provide vital support to people during the pandemic. Find out more and donate.

The Healthcare Workers’ Foundation is an initiative set up to support the physical, mental, and day-to-day wellbeing of NHS staff across the UK. Physically, to support the protection of staff on the frontline. Mentally, they aim to provide counselling and psychological services. Day to day, they want to set up a hassle-free small grants service to support childcare and transport and provide perks for hospital facilities and more.

They are also aiming to use the platform to provide public and professional education resources on coronavirus and build a cross-professional platform to help share tips and advice. Donate here.   

Give blood

NHS Blood and Transplant are looking for people to donate blood to help others. Donation is allowed despite Covid-19 restrictions. Visit the website for more details.