College staff in Warwickshire and Worcestershire are hard at work to look after everything from porcupines and plants to students and spiders during the lockdown.
WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) suspended face-to-face learning across its college sites last month but non-academic staff are still working behind the scenes to maintain services at the college.
Land-based industries haven’t stopped during the coronavirus pandemic and at Moreton Morrell College the on-site farm is still fully functioning. Farm manager Henry Dingle is coming to the end of lambing season and alongside the team is maintaining the farm.
Elsewhere at Moreton Morrell College, a small team are working tirelessly to look after the wellbeing of animals who live on site in the animal centre. This includes basic husbandry tasks and ensuring the animals are physically and mentally enriched, but with no visitors to the college, the animals are enjoying more of a peaceful time than a regular April.
The garden centre and nursery at Pershore College has been out on the road with its new delivery service around Worcestershire, which has proved hugely popular. A small team has been working, whilst following social distancing guidelines, at the centre to look after and nurture the plants. Researchers are still delivering agritech research at Pershore College too.
Whilst at Royal Leamington Spa College the residential warden team remain on site to care for residential students who have not been able to go home.
The students are staying in their halls during lockdown and staff have introduced a range of activities to keep them busy and active, including online quizzing and yoga. Staff have also been making special deliveries to students in their rooms to keep morale high.
Angela Joyce, CEO of WCG, said: “As the restrictions began to be imposed and in accordance with the Government request, we remained open for our vulnerable students and children of key workers.
“Some staff continued to work on-site and that has continued with all the requisite safety precautions in place.
“These are people who might not always spring to mind as key workers, but without their hard work and dedication the animals wouldn’t be looked after, plants wouldn’t be nurtured and the residential students would be without support.
“We do have some residential students who have, for various reasons, not been able to go home and we have moved all of them from other College sites to our Leamington accommodation so they can access the essentials we all need and they can be looked after.
“We would like to thank everyone at all of our college sites who are working tirelessly during these difficult times to keep everything running smoothly.”