Campus Stars: Kate Beaumont

July 2nd, 2020

The Campus Stars campaign has been launched to showcase the colleagues still working on campus during the lockdown and highlight the crucial work they do.

Kate is a Support Technician at the Biodiscovery Institute (BDI) on University Park and has been working at the University for 6 years.

Kate during week 1 of lockdown fumigating a microbiological safety cabinet so that it could be transferred to a Covid research facility.

Kate’s role usually involves overseeing a small team of technicians who carry out day-to-day support of the research groups working in BDI. Kate’s team supports the researchers working in BDI by maintaining the building’s systems through safety testing, arrangement of equipment servicing and repairs, and making sure all relevant paperwork is dealt with.

During the pandemic, research groups are no longer working in the building and many members of the team fall into the vulnerable group that are not allowed into work. Therefore, the small number able to travel to campus are taking care of any waste from the small amounts of research continuing, in addition to carrying out general checks of the laboratories to identify any issues and safety testing equipment. Kate has created a rota for this skeleton crew to ensure that nobody is working alone, whilst also maintaining social distancing. Kate also assists those working from home with any questions or issues they may have with their remote working.

During the first week of lockdown, Kate and her supervisor were called upon to sterilise equipment for transfer to the Covid research facility in Milton Keynes. That week was spent in BDI fumigating safety cabinets, ready for the armed forces to collect.

Kate has enjoyed spending time during lockdown with her recently adopted rescue cat. Initially he was terrified of everyone, but with a lot of patience and the strategic placement of treats, Kate has managed to gain his trust and build his confidence!

Kate has enjoyed watching the beautiful and calming Studio Ghibli films on Netflix, a particular favourite is Howl’s Moving Castle. Kate has also spent time during lockdown learning calligraphy and writing a short comic. She’s written 19 pages already!

Kate favourite thing about working for the University of Nottingham is her colleagues. She credits them all for the support they provide to each other and it provides great comfort that everyone wants to help each other out during these strange times. With the current restrictions, they are all managing to stay in touch with the wider team through online meetings on Teams.

Kate’s message to the University community is to hang in there! This is the strangest event in recent times so don’t feel bad about being scared or confused. Check in on friends and family – they probably feel the same and you can act as support for each other. It’s okay to not be okay, and try to reach out if you need to.

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