The Humanities response to crisis

Sun, 26 Apr 2020 17:40:00 BST

As a University Civic Engagement is one of our key strategic themes and the Faculty of Humanities is working with partners from across society to provide practical help and insight during the COVID-19 crisis.

This includes areas like 3D printing of PPE equipment, how to harness and manage the help of volunteers, the potential impacts on public policy around work, education, finance and mental health, much of which is discussed on Manchester Policy Blogs, and to understand the impact the virus is having on people’s lives now and in the future.

Our Humanitarian Conflict and Response Institute (HCRI) is focussed on providing both a medical and humanitarian response during the crisis and includes colleagues like Professor Duncan Shaw, who led the writing of an International Standard which is used worldwide for planning the involvement of spontaneous volunteers in incident and recovery.

Since the COVID-19 crisis took hold, Professor Shaw has been volunteering with several local authorities, including Greater Manchester to look at how to maximise involvement with their new volunteer workforce, further details of which can be seen on our dedicated University COVID-19 response pages.

In our School of Social Sciences Dr Elisa Pieri researches on pandemic preparedness and the impact of pandemics on inequalities and vulnerable groups, which will be very pertinent in the months to come.

We have also turned our attention to mental health and wellbeing. Sir Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health in Alliance Manchester Business School, has been widely featured in the media on how to maintain positive mental health during the current crisis and colleagues in Manchester Institute of Education are providing support to schools with remote teaching resources and Dr Lisa Murtagh has given some powerful and comforting words on Home Educating during the COVID-19 Pandemic.