London Met students help Waltham Forest College with COVID testing

A comprehensive testing regime will help to reduce the risk of positive transmission within the College and wider community.

Date: 14 January 2021

London Met students have joined forces with Waltham Forest College to help them run their rapid-testing centre for COVID-19, to minimise the risk of spreading the disease. Waltham Forest currently has the third-highest number of recorded cases of coronavirus of London's boroughs, following Newham and Redbridge. 

The Department for Health and Social Care provided the London Borough of Waltham Forest (LBWF) with new rapid ‘lateral flow’ Covid-19 tests for a pilot programme of testing in the borough shortly before Christmas. As an anchor institution within the community, Waltham Forest College has been working in close partnership with LBWF in developing a pilot testing programme for all staff and students. This will reduce the risk of positive transmission within the College and the wider community.

College Principal, Janet Gardner said, “The wellbeing of our students and staff is our absolute priority and I have been incredibly proud of the determination and resilience shown by our students and staff since the start of term.

“Waltham Forest College is a key institution within our local community, and we will continue to step up and support our health system during this crucial stage of the pandemic.”

The tests have been positively endorsed by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who visited the College’s test site. He said: “Increased testing is key to getting the spread under control, which is why I want to see regular asymptomatic testing extended to all those unable to work from home and to students and staff at London’s secondary schools, sixth-form college and FE colleges.”

Dr Una Fairbrother, Reader in Molecular Genomics and Head of Researcher Development at London Met's Research Office, who has coordinated the effort said, “I’m very proud of our students for stepping up to help one of the local communities that is most affected by COVID-19. They’ve demonstrated real generosity and fortitude in what has been a difficult time for all of us, and are playing an important role in fighting the pandemic."

a woman undertaking a coronavirus test