Our essential workers – Cameron McHenry

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While the majority of us are now working from home, essential workers across our community are continuing to go to work each day. We’ve asked them to share what’s it’s like to continue working in this unusual time. To start off, Cameron McHenry explains what looking after the University estate is like with nobody around.
McEwan Hall
McEwan Hall

My name is Cameron McHenry, I’m a Security Officer and I’ve been working at the University of Edinburgh for just over a year and a half. I’m one of the many University staff who are still coming to work to help the University community make it through this challenging time with the least disruption possible.

A security car outside the University Main Library
Outside the University Main Library

The UK Government’s coronavirus legislation and social distancing measures have meant that my colleagues and I have had to quickly adapt to ensure that the University community and its buildings are kept safe and secure.

Charles Street towards Bristo Square
Charles Street towards Bristo Square

The biggest change is that we’ve adopted a new way of working to ensure that we are able to provide a 24-hour service to the University while covering for staff absence and maintaining social distancing. However, we’ve all adapted to it well and it’s now business as usual once again.

Old College from Nicolson Street
Old College from Nicolson Street

Everyone is keeping in good spirits and although people are naturally conscious of the health risks, we are trying our best to carry on with the disruption to the University.

Looking across the Meadows from high up in 40 George Square.
Looking across the Meadows

It’s been bizarre seeing the campus and surrounding streets so quiet. The area is usually full of life at all hours and it is now deserted. It’s been brilliant to see that the people around the University are taking the guidance to stay at home seriously!

The Royal Mile at dusk.
The Royal Mile

However, just because it is quiet on the streets doesn’t mean we’ve stopped doing what we do. We are providing enhanced checks on the estate to deter criminals; checking buildings for any floods or faults; responding to alarms and allowing access for essential maintenance.

George Square in the dark.
George Square

We’ve been assisted by our colleagues in the Estates team and right across the University to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible and we support each other and keep smiling. There have even been chances to share knowledge and get to meet new people (from a safe distance!).

Buccluech Place in the sun.
Buccluech Place

Although these are challenging times all the people I work with have really pulled through to support one another and ensure that we carry on doing what we do best – ensuring the University is a safe and secure environment for everyone who studies, works or visits.

Edinburgh Castle in the dark
Edinburgh Castle

Personally I’d like to thank staff, students and visitors for following guidelines and remind everyone that we are always here should they ever need help on campus.

Are you part of a team still going into work each day? We’d like to hear from you. Drop us an email at bulletin@ed.ac.uk

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