Supporting students through the coronavirus pandemic

Category: #OurPeople

9 April 2020

Matt Evans

Matt Evans is a Housing Management Officer on our Cambridge campus. He continues to work on-site, supporting students who have been unable to travel home because of coronavirus restrictions.

I’ve been working for ARU since 2013, having started in the post room. This was an ideal way to get to know many of the staff, and I’ve enjoyed working here since I started. It can be challenging and tough work, but very rewarding. ARU is a great environment to build friendships with people of diverse experiences and ideas.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, every day is different as the situation evolves. Tasks and priorities change with every new day.

At the moment, we have around 25-30% of our students remaining in halls, as they were unable to get home. Working with my team, we still need to manage these rooms and look after these students.

"We look after students who were unable to get home. We’re also arranging for rooms to be cleaned so that we can hopefully provide areas for the NHS to use."

The team now works on a rostered system, so I still go into work twice a week to carry out inspections, deal with student emergencies and man the office. We’re also arranging for rooms to be cleaned so that we can hopefully provide areas for the NHS to use.

When I’m working from home, a big part of my role involves updating a master spreadsheet, collecting data and distributing to our facilities management partners, including the Catering, Post Room and Estates and Facilities teams through daily updates. As part of this, I’ll include students that are self-isolating, and those that may require additional support, such as food parcels.

Amongst all of this, my usual job of dealing with student incidents, minor repair requests and pastoral care is still ongoing, albeit at a slower rate!

Outside of the coronavirus pandemic, doing my job well allows students to focus on their studies without worrying about their accommodation status. My interaction with students mainly revolves around solving problems.

The Residential Service Team aims to provide students with a comfortable environment as a place to relax and escape their daily stresses, which is an important part of a balanced life both for mental health, and for achieving success on their courses.

Our response to coronavirus

Matt is just one of our #ARUHeroes. Read more about how our community is coming together in the battle against COVID-19.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.