Hindsight is 2020

As we start 2021 we thought we’d take a look back at what we did in the year none of us will ever forget.

January 2020: Blood Bowls; Games Workshop’s fantasy football tournament managed to get onto campus in January. This was their second successful year with us where they took over the Roger Kirk Centre for a full weekend in January. They even attempted to break a world record with the greatest number of hugs in a minute, maybe if we had known we wouldn’t have been able to hug only two months later we would have tried harder! We hope that we can welcome them back in 2022.

February 2020: We hosted the amazing GCSE Science Live, where 1,000 students took over Central Hall to attend some fantastic lectures from some of the best scientists in the UK, including presenter of the BBC’s Sky at Night, Maggie Aderin-Pocock.

GCSE Science Live

March 2020: Before the madness of March, we were lucky enough to host CUWiP Conference. This event celebrated women in physics and is held in a different university every year. Then along came furlough for many…

April/May/June/July 2020: Lock down. Furlough became the buzzword of the summer, and many of our team took the summer to learn new skills, explore the British countryside and dance like no one was watching.

One thing we were looking forward to over the summer, was the big party to celebrate our 50th anniversary! We planned to invite people from past events and conferences, to toast our birthday but unfortunately the world had other ideas. This quiet period did give us the chance to look through all the University archives and find some golden gems we can share with you all next year! After all, 51 is the new 50…

August 2020: Due to the rules allowing events for training for organisations such as the NHS, we were able to host a socially distanced event for the NHS Junior Doctors! It was great to see the Ron Cooke Hub hosting another fantastic event, even with social distancing reducing the numbers. The event went off without a hitch, with all 53 delegates socially distanced and kept Covid secure throughout the event, which included providing individually wrapped Bento boxes for lunch!

September 2020: With the world of conferencing and events still in lock down, our manager, Sian, kept the communication lines open,ensuring all enquiries were handled. September did bring some great news though, with Natalie passing her CIM in Digital marketing with a Distinction Merit!

October 2020: We were back in action after 6 months of furlough, and Laura booked our first virtual event with AAIP Research! With Virtual conferencing looking like the way of the future it was great to see how events can adapt and still be as engaging and fun as the real thing.

In addition, the team volunteered to help out over Autumn Term with cleaning,retail and catering. Natalie and Jess worked with a team of University staff to coordinate nearly 300 volunteers across the University to help students return to campus., They took over from University members of staff who were shielding or self isolating. These roles varied from coordinating and delivering meals to isolating students as well as welfare checks for everyone on campus.

November 2020: We were still able to help the NHS Preceptorship programme, who booked in with us for multiple events throughout November. Victoria Angell, Quality & Professional Practice Sister said;

“The Preceptorship programme is delivered to all newly registered nursing staff that join York Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust, its aim is to ensure we support the transition from student nurse to confident, competent independent practitioner. It is so important that we continue to ensure that our newly registered staff have the training and support needed, and the opportunity to share experiences with their peers more than ever.”

We will continue to welcome them on a monthly basis throughout 2021 and are happy to be able support this vital training.

December 2020: With events still on hiatus, our team led the charge in helping out other areas of the University such as catering, Nisa and cleaning. To ensure everyone had a Merry Christmas, we assisted in the coordination of Christmas hampers for all the students who had to stay in York over the festive break, teaming up with Morrisons to deliver each household a free Christmas hamper.

And that was a brief history of our 2020. We still don’t know what the future hold, but in the words of D;Ream: