News / coronavirus

Bristol Uni student accommodation given to newly qualified doctors

By bristol247, Wednesday Apr 8, 2020

Student accommodation just a few hundred yards from the BRI will be occupied by NHS workers and volunteers during the coronavirus crisis.

The University of Bristol has made its accommodation on Colston Street available to NHS staff including recently qualified doctors from the its own medical school.

Other new residents will include third- and fourth-year medical students who have stepped up to volunteer for the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The rooms – in a building that was gutted by fire in 2015 but has since been completely renovated – will be available to NHS staff at a subsidised cost, for as long as they need.

In a letter to tenants at the end of March, the university’s accommodation office asked students to offer their rooms as part of the scheme, while current residents were asked to move to nearby accommodation.

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Read more: Bristol medical students ready to step up to help in midst of coronavirus crisis

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Undergraduate Ellie Todd, one of the current residents who moved out to make way for NHS staff, left some items such as toiletries and food behind for the new NHS residents to use.

She said: “Given the scale of the pandemic, I think it’s easy for many of us to feel helpless.

“When we were asked by the university to make way for NHS staff, I was only too happy to agree, and I know a lot of my fellow residents felt the same.”

Sarah Purdy, pro vice-chancellor for student experience, added: “While we find ourselves in exceptionally difficult circumstances, we’ve been blown away by the response of our students and staff, who are working so hard to make a difference to others.

“As an NHS worker myself, it’s incredibly touching to see how our student community has stepped up to give their rooms to my colleagues, who are at the epicentre of the pandemic.”

Main photo: Martin Booth

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