Cambridge students support each other at a time of uncertainty and anxietySimon Lock

As uncertainty surrounds whether students should go home or stay in Cambridge over the Easter break, student-led initiatives are cropping up aimed at providing practical and emotional support over the next few months.

With loneliness likely to be an issue in light of an increased likelihood of more students having to self-isolate, a ‘Self-Care Share Pod’ has emerged. Providing entertainment inspiration, students are encouraged to share their favourite songs, books, films, TV series, recipes, free online games and more with each other in a bid to tackle boredom.

Students at King’s college have also identified that “social contact (when appropriate according to government advice) looks key for staying mentally well” over the vacation. This has led to the creation of a COVID-19 social support group aimed at providing those staying in Cambridge with a social outlet.

Cambridge Uni Pen Pals also aims at tackling student loneliness, with the initiative set up by several college welfare officers. After filling out a form, students will be paired with a pen pal to provide mutual support over the vacation. The organisers wrote, “We know that self-isolation and the holiday period can lead to loneliness and we think a system like this could help alleviate some of that!”


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As well as this, Solidarity College Cambridge said they are setting up a Solidarity College Virtual Grad School, which will include WhatsApp seminars to discuss films and texts together. People who want to get involved can message the Facebook page for a link to the chat.

CUSU have also pitched in to do their bit, with a note sharing google drive, initially created to support students in the UCU strikes being made available. Those who would like to contribute to or access the drive can fill out a form to be added.

Other students across the university are making themselves available as ‘Buddies’ for those who may have underlying health conditions, or are in self-isolation.

This mobilisation is not limited to the student community, however, with Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Mutual Aid providing residents with a platform to ask for and offer help. Camcab taxis have also offered a free grocery delivery service to those who are 70 or over.

Keep up with the COVID-19 situation in Cambridge with our live coverage.