• Sun. Dec 10th, 2023

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

University of Sunderland and Amazon team up to deliver change


A new project from the University of Sunderland and Amazon is helping to create the healthcare professional of the future – starting with a delivery to future doctors and nurses at the region’s primary and secondary schools this Christmas.

‘Discovering Healthcare Professions Boxed’ is a new project created by the University of Sunderland’s Development Trust and Widening Access and Participation team in partnership with Amazon. Amazon has donated £10,000 to the University to support the project.

‘Discovering Healthcare Professions Boxed’ aims to give pupils from primary and secondary schools the opportunity to explore the role of doctors and allied healthcare professionals such as pharmacists, nurses and paramedics students.

Delving inside the Discovering Healthcare box, pupils find out more about the different types of equipment healthcare professionals use. Pupils will explore a patient’s journey by learning to use equipment used by doctors, nurses and paramedics, discovering the implications of health science, today and for the future.

The new project is part of the University of Sunderland’s commitment to ensure that university is accessible to all, regardless of background. The North East has the lowest participation rate in higher education than any other region. In 2021 31.8% of 18 year-olds from the North East were accepted into university, compared to 39% nationally.

Discovering Healthcare Professions Boxed is the latest in a number of partnerships between Amazon, which has delivery stations in Washington and Gateshead and fulfilment centres in Gateshead and Durham, and the University of Sunderland.

James Boag, Delivery Station Manager at Amazon in Gateshead, said: “The University of Sunderland is a great supporter of the young people in our community and programmes like Discovering Healthcare Professions Boxed will inspire future generations of medical professionals across the North East. The Amazon team is hugely supportive of the university’s efforts to champion STEM subjects and we’re pleased to team up with the staff at the University of Sunderland once again for this important project.”

Sir David Bell KCB DL welcomed Amazon’s continuing support. He added: “This significant gift will make a major difference to our regional schools, building upon the previously funded ‘Mini Medics’ boxed project which received outstandingly positive feedback from everyone involved. The growth of this programme and partnership is extremely exciting for the University of Sunderland.”

Last year, Amazon supported the university’s Widening Access and Participation team to deliver their School of Medicine pre-16 outreach activities to local primary and secondary pupils during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding provided by Amazon enabled the creation of 20 Mini Medics resources boxes which were distributed to 20 schools within the North East region following the second national lockdown.

The Mini Medics Boxed activities linked closely with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) agenda. The activities were designed to generate interest and links to the University of Sunderland’s award-winning Bright Sparks STEAM Club, cultivating pupils’ interest and enthusiasm for STEM and Arts related subjects. Ultimately creating career aspirations and routes into STEM courses in higher educations.

Mini Medics Boxed targeted schools located in low participation neighbourhoods where levels of progression to higher education are lowest. The recipient schools were also located with 10-mile radius of Amazon’s buildings in Washington, Durham and Gateshead.

Mini Medics received a Neon (National Education Opportunities Network) Commendation award.