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The tireless work of colleagues across the University of Chester over the past few months has been recognised and celebrated in a special video message from the institution’s senior team to mark the end of the academic year.

Chancellor Dr Gyles Brandreth; Vice-Chancellor Professor Eunice Simmons and President of the University Council, Canon Dr Jeff Turnbull praised staff for their dedication and commitment in facing the challenges of the pandemic.

Professor Simmons highlighted the University’s sense of community and for the hard work of colleagues to keep the institution “thriving” in delivering on its commitments to students and the region. She said: “From working off dining tables, to juggling children, caring responsibilities and pets. From spending all day glued to Teams, to working strange hours to fit around home-life demands. From being so willing and flexible to deliver despite the situation. From me to you, thank you.”

Canon Dr Jeff Turnbull thanked staff for “stepping up”. He referenced technical staff who have supported others in working from home; lecturers for adapting to delivering online learning; those recruiting new students through virtual events; staff supporting students and those who have kept the various facilities safe, clean and secure as well as others who are planning ahead to ensure campuses can operate safely.

Wearing his specially-knitted University of Chester jumper, Chancellor Dr Gyles Brandreth said: “I am immensely proud to be Chancellor of this University, wearing my Chester jumper with great delight! I have been so overwhelmed to read of the most wonderful acts of courage, kindness and compassion you’ve performed.”

He cited examples of colleagues rising to the challenge in helping others through volunteering in the community; creating much needed resources such as hand sanitiser and visors for frontline staff or raising money for worthwhile causes as well as sharing practical skills. Read more about the variety of ways the University has stepped up COVID-19 response here.

Professor Simmons, who started in the role of Vice-Chancellor at the start of January, closed the video with a thank you for being made to feel so welcome. She said: “I am grateful for your enthusiasm to support me in leading the University into a new era, ensuring we deliver a transformative student experience. Look after yourselves, keep safe, keep well and thank you!”

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