Cass mobilises to help the fight against Coronavirus

A roundup of how members of the Cass community have been using expertise and imagination to help those in need during the pandemic

Postgraduate student pens stories for NHS workers’ children

The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted just how important and heroic the emergency services are. While NHS staff are on the frontline saving lives, it is easily forgotten that they are also missing out on valuable family time – especially with their children.

Agamdeep Singh Nagpal, an MSc Global Supply Chain Management student, has decided to write a series of children’s books focussing on the roles of emergency service staff, in the hope of educating kids about the vital role they play and helping them through a time when schools are closed.

man in suit and turban smiling

“I was actually watching a superhero movie and got a strong sense that the real heroes aren’t wearing capes – but helping us fighting this pandemic,” he said.

“I appreciate how difficult it must be for children, either watching their parents go to work every day risking their lives or to not be allowed to go school, so I wanted to give them something to smile about and a reason to become inspired by their heroes – their parents – who are our heroes too.

“I am not a natural writer, but I feel a strong connection with the NHS and wanted to create something relatable for young children living through the pandemic.”

Agamdeep’s first story will be called Candy. You can find out more about Agamdeep’s stories on his LinkedIn page.

Cass Senior Lecturer needs your input into research about coronavirus impact on employee wellbeing

Dr Annelore Huyghe, Senior Lecturer at Cass, is conducting research looking into the impact of the coronavirus lockdowns on wellbeing at work.

Dr Huyghe is aiming to find out about the changes that employees are experiencing, as well as the responses of their employers and managers and the effects that this has on their daily work lives.

“The current pandemic has meant a shift in the way a lot us are working,” said Dr Huyghe.

“For some, this could lead to added strain and difficulties in fulfilling specific roles, while others may feel less inhibited with greater freedom and autonomy. This study aims to capture how employees are coping with the rapidly changed work conditions and the extent to which the lockdown has positively or negatively impacted their wellbeing.”

Please do participate in the study here.

woman working from home with laptop and paperwork

Charities MSc programmes offer alternative assignment to replace fieldwork

The Coronavirus outbreak is the greatest challenge facing the world since the Second World War. During the conflict, social researchers – such as Mass Observation – recorded reactions and responses of the British people to the crisis.

Taking a lead from this, the Charities MSc programmes have offered students an alternative fieldwork assignment, titled ‘The Response of the UK Voluntary Sector (or NGO Sector) to the Coronavirus Pandemic’.

“In the current pandemic crisis there is a unique opportunity to create an historic record for the future, through our students and academics. The alternative assignment will attempt to do that,” said Dr Peter Grant, Course Director.

“Students will record, analyse and comment on an aspect of the UK Voluntary Sector, or international NGO’s responses to the crisis. This could include looking at a foundation’s individual response, or the way a charity’s fundraising has had to adapt.”

Find out more information about Charities Master’s programmes at Cass.

Senior Visiting Fellow champions world inclusion on podcast

Fresh from writing a new book about inclusion in organisations, Alison Maitland, Senior Visiting Fellow at Cass, was also interviewed for a podcast with The Conference Board.

Ms Maitland not only discussed inclusion at a business level, but also how a holistic and systematic approach to inclusion is needed to harness a collective 'superpower' against the coronavirus.

“While our book is specifically about organisational inclusion, the global pandemic is a clear example of the need for an inclusive approach to ensure the sharing of skills and expertise across nations,” she said.

“Inclusive leaders see the bigger picture – that they cannot act alone – and will seek solutions and guidance from a wide range of people with different perspectives and skillsets. The same can be said of managing the coronavirus, particularly given its threat on a global scale.”

Ms Maitland, who co-authored INdivisible with Rebekah Steele, is also Chair of the Executive Board of the Cass Global Women's Leadership Programme.

Coding outside the classroom: Cass Entrepreneurship Fund portfolio company provides free virtual programme

A Cass Entrepreneurship Fund portfolio company is helping to address the problem of child education in times of coronavirus lockdown by offering free virtual coding classes in partnership with Amazon.

Fire Tech Camp, a provider of project-based learning, problem-solving and creative skills in technology, has teamed up with Amazon to deliver the two-month online programme to students unable to attend school during the pandemic.

The course will be available for students, teachers and parents until Wednesday 3rd June, with resources aimed at students aged 12 to 17 (in line with Key Stage 3 and 4) to help them develop their computer science skills of those learning at home. After completing the course, students will have solved problems of an equivalent level to GCSE Computer Science courses.

The Entrepreneurship Fund has also recently closed an investment in Evolve Dynamics, which is selling bespoke drone solutions to police forces, emergency services and the military.

Find out more about the Cass Entrepreneurship Fund here.

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