Alumni spring into action against COVID-19

A look at some of the work being done by our alumni community to provide support or solutions during the ongoing pandemic.

Date: 16 April 2020

Members of the London Met community, from our academics to our students, have been finding ways to join in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic – and this extends to our alumni community too.

Anande Semwenda, who completed a master’s in International Banking, Financial Development and Poverty Reduction, is Managing Director at McDaan Limited

Anande says: “At McDaan Limited, we are working hard to ensure we play our part to help protect the health and wellbeing of people around the world. We are making, through our manufacturing partners, COVID-19 home test kits allowing individuals to perform an at-home test with results in just 15 minutes.

“We are also trying to manufacture other COVID-19 medical supplies, such as face masks, thermometers, antibacterial lotion, gowns and ventilators. We are working with different governments in Africa, as well as the NHS, to supply the much needed medical supplies.”

Flavio Fellica, founder of Coma Sound, is raising money for The Trussell Trust through a series of live streams where he broadcasts a playlist of music created by a whole host of independent artists. Flavio said: “The live streams happen every Friday and Saturday, at 7pm, as a sign of hope, unity and positivity for those who want to spend one hour in our company, enjoying the music we love. 

“All the money raised here goes directly to the Trussell Trust, who will use it to support people in need and at risk of food insecurity and hunger throughout the UK. Last year, food banks in Trussell Trust's network provided more than 1.6 million emergency food parcels to people in crisis. More than half a million of these went to children. It’s not right that people can’t afford the basics. With your help, we can help end the need for food banks. I believe that no one should be left hungry or destitute.”

Talat Jehan, who studied Human Resource Management, is a scout representative and volunteer for the Balochistan Boy Scouts Association (BBSA), in Pakistan. During the epidemic, Talat has been working with the provincial team to support the locals. 

Talat says: “The main activities and interventions we have carried out during the past few days have included distributing masks, tissues and soaps; disseminating precautionary COVID-19 related literature and video messages in local languages, as well as in English and Urdu among the public; and cash distribution for those who need it most. While carrying out this work, we saw hope in the eyes of those most at risk.”

Jewellery and Silversmithing alumna Kit Swing, founder and producer of Kit Swing Jewellery, is helping people with their physical health: “As I am a second dan black belt & sensei in Jiu Jitsu, I put together some quick and fun physio workouts on Instagram TV to perk people up, helping them to relieve mental and physical tension. My workouts are 80s themed, so I dress up in 80s activewear and do the workouts to an 80s playlist, which really cheers people up.”

Michael Wood-Wilson, a tax specialist who studied French, has volunteered to help his local church group in caring for the isolated and vulnerable. Michael has also set up a Facebook page where he is documenting the lockdown in London through a series of photos.

Talat Jehan being interviewed by news media.

Photograph: Talat Jehan, scout representative and volunteer for the Balochistan Boy Scouts Association (BBSA).