Support Healthcare Students: Sign, Write, Tell

As you may know, healthcare students up and down the country have been working on the frontlines in the NHS since March to help with the Covid-19 response.

We’ve joined forces with over 100 Greenwich Healthcare Students and 29 Students' Unions across the country calling for the government to waive the debt of all healthcare students who’ve stepped up to do this vital work.

Jono Smith, GSU Officer 2018-20, explains why this campaign is important:

I struggle to imagine how difficult it is to make the decision to put your studies aside and step up to work at a time like this. To make that decision knowing that you're putting yourself in the line of danger is something I'm not sure I'd ever be able to imagine. This selfless act of bravery deserves to be recognised and appreciated so I implore everyone to get behind our incredible healthcare students and Sign, Write, Tell. This is just a small act of appreciation in comparison to what healthcare students are doing up and down the country, but this is our opportunity to fight for them, whilst they fight for us.


We are asking you to Support Healthcare Students Now:

SIGN, WRITE, TELL! #SignWriteTell:

  • SIGN the open letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock, and the Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan calling for the fee debt to be waived. Sign the letter HERE.

  • WRITE a letter to your MP, calling for public support of the campaign. You can use our template HERE and find your MP HERE.

  • TELL us and Greenwich’s Healthcare students why you’re supporting them and the campaign to have debt waived. Share on social media using #ProudtobeGRE and #SignWriteTell






Share your support for Healthcare Students!

We have a range of images you can use on your social media channels to show your support for the campaign. Some examples are below; click here to see all the images and download them for yourself.

Don't forget to use the hashtags #ProudtobeGRE and #SignWriteTell too!



GSU Sign Write Tell - social media image example


GSU Sign Write Tell - social media image example


GSU Sign Write Tell - social media image example


GSU Sign Write Tell - social media image example






Open letter to Parliament

Names of those who have signed the letter will be added to the bottom as and when we receive them.

Click here to open a PDF version of the letter (last updated Friday 15th May 2020)

We've had an incredible response since launching on the 7th of May, with an amazing 138 additional signatures added to the Open Letter.

Click here to open a PDF of the full list of signatories and their reasons for signing. (last updated Friday 15th May 2020)





Students' stories

We'll be sharing profiles on some Greenwich students who are working in the NHS right now over the coming weeks. Here's our first one...


Ashleigh Henser

Ashleigh Henser, third year Nursing student, University of Greenwich

I am currently a final year nursing student who has stepped up to work on the front line for the NHS. In all honesty it is one of the most fearful things we have done.

Not only have we faced being the first year to pay tuition fees, plus apply for student loans to help us financially cope during our 3 year degree, we have now ended our final year with uncertainty.

We have opted in due to the love we have for our job, and feel that in a time of need we will be there to help at any cost. However, although we have put our big girl/boy pants on and run to help during this crisis, we as student nurses still have to face paying back thousands of pounds with very minimal wages.

We will always be there too help, but I can not stress enough how amazing it will be to get something back, please wave student nurse fees.




MPs we've written to

  • Leader of the Opposition: Kier Starmer
  • Deputy Leader of the Opposition: Angela Rayner
  • Shadow Health Secretary: Jonathan Ashworth 
  • Shadow Education Secretary: Rebecca Long-Bailey
  • Shadow Minister for Mental Health: Dr Rosena Allin-Khan 
  • Shadow Minister for FE and Universities: Emma Hardy 
  • Sarah Owen MP and member of the Health and Social Care Select Committee 
  • Chair of Health and Social Care Select Committee: Jeremy Hunt
  • Robert Halfon: Chair of Education Select Committee
  • Chris Skidmore MP and the previous Minister of State for Universities and Science



Support from other Unions

Here are some comments from other students' unions who are supporting the campaign.



Gemma Lovegrove, President of Northampton Union 2019/20

Students don’t get paid to complete the hours of their extended placements, they have no bursaries and often have to undertake paid work as HCA’s and the like to be able to support themselves financially. If they fall ill, they do not get sick pay, and will still have to find time to make up any missed hours before they can qualify. Their sacrifice for the love of their chosen career is admirable and has ensured that the Healthcare sector has remained stable. Surely their sacrifices which are numerous, should be recognised and their student debt eradicated as a gesture of gratitude. It is what only seems fair and I am sure members of the public, taxpayers, who have benefitted from their commitment, would be in agreement.

Patrick Hoyle, Exeter Student’s Guild President 2019/20

Exeter Student’s Guild have signed this letter in solidarity not only with our own medical students, 95 of which have graduated early to volunteer in the NHs and support the covid-19 response, but with all medical students across the country who are committing and act of absolute selflessness and deserve significant and impactful reward.