Published: 21 June 2021
Last Thursday, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sunderland, Sir David Bell, visited the London campus to meet our team of Stay Safe Ambassadors.
He greeted them in person on the fourth floor to discuss their role in helping to look after our student community as we slowly start returning to on-site teaching.
“I’m particularly pleased to meet students who have made a great contribution to the University, helping everyone to adjust in these strangest of times,” he said.
If you’ve had a class on campus, you will have met the Stay Safe Ambassadors already.
They’re stationed at various key facilities throughout the building, whether that’s greeting you when you walk through our doors or guiding you around our one-way system.
Easy enough to spot in their brilliantly blue t-shirts, you can go to them for any help you might need navigating around, finding the nearest hand-gel station or working out how to get your two free face masks.
“It’s been a really good experience working as a Stay Safe Ambassador,” says Abdul Shahid, a final year BSc (Hons) International Tourism and Hospitality Management student. “We get to help students when they come on to campus, whether that’s giving them their ID cards or directing them to their classes.”
During his visit, Sir David was taken through the building by our Director Alan Hardie, who showcased the newest safety measures we’ve put in place to make sure you can enjoy your lectures with confidence.
“One of the things I know the team here have been anxious about is to make sure the campus is as safe as possible.” - Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sunderland
He told the Stay Safe Ambassadors. “Inevitably, you can’t prevent there being cases of COVID-19. But I think we can do lots of things to make people feel safer. With a student and staff population of more than 15,000 over both Sunderland and London, we’ve only had 500 positive cases and just a few of those have been attributed to people being on campus. It’s a very small percentage overall.”
“I think that’s a great tribute to you,” he said, referring to his audience of Student Ambassadors. “And I think it’s a great tribute to everyone who works here that you’ve all been so concerned about keeping each other safe.”
"I applied to be a Stay Safe Ambassador because I figured after a year of being completely dormant it was really nice to get out and do an activity again.” says Benjamin Lan second year BA (Hons) Business and Management student. "So far, it’s been amazing, working with people I’ve never met, seeing so many new faces. Some students are coming onto the campus for the very first time, so I like to think the work we’re doing could help them a lot."
The event was also an opportunity for Sir David to meet Fotios Vasileiou, lecturer on the BA (Hons) Events and Entertainment Management (Top-Up) course.
He presented him with a certificate in recognition of his recent achievement as runner up in the Most Inspirational Teacher category at the annual Student Nominated Teaching Award (SNTA).
“I wanted to be a Stay Safe Ambassador because it’s a really good opportunity for me to start socialising again. When I first started University, I wasn’t aware of things around me and I was very lost. But there were lots of Student Ambassadors who helped me out so I thought it would be great to do that for other students.” says Amanda Heng, a BSc (Hons) International Tourism and Hospitality Management student.
“The best thing about being a Stay Safe Ambassador is the teamwork. Everyone here is so amazing, friendly and helpful. I feel very welcomed. It's like coming to work but not being tired because you love what you’re doing and the people around you.”
Concluding his visit, Sir David looked to our next steps as a University. “This past year is about learning lessons and then trying to ensure that we’re better protected for the future. You people have done an extraordinary job, so congratulations for all your hard work.”
To find out more about the steps we’ve taken to make sure your return to campus is safe, visit our COVID-19 Guidance pages.