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Microbiologist Zoe Andrews & Harvey’s Gang – 2019 Healthcare Bursary Runner-up

After a challenging 6 months full of the unexpected, we caught up with microbiologist Zoe Andrews, last years runner-up at our annual Healthcare Bursary with her project Harvey’s Gang. Find out how things have been progressing despite the impact of Coronavirus, and what she has planned for the future!

  • ‘Harveys Gang’ – which was your runner-up entry at our 2019 Healthcare Bursary, is a global project that works to put the minds of critically ill children at ease via a sample journey of the laboratory to see how pathology works. Can you tell us how things have been going since we last spoke at the end of 2019?

“I was planning to launch Harveys Gang over May half term so I could get my university exams done. I’d been up to introduce the concept with the children’s ward and the staff really liked it. We were looking at ways to get schools involved and we had a careers event planned first, then COVID started.”

  •  How has the Coronavirus pandemic affected your work life in general? Were there many changes to your usual routine in pathology?

“In microbiology we have just worked constantly. Different shifts, extra hours, shifts changing daily, new technology, new ways of working – it’s all been about adapting quickly and reacting to a changing situation. We’ve had PCR equipment introduced which is a 2 step process so has required training and verification processes to be implemented. Pathology has also slightly changed a bit of layout to accommodate for the capacity of testing.”


  •  You mentioned your hopes of working with schools to get children into the labs so you can offer them real insight into life as a scientist. That’s a fantastic way to fuel imaginations for a future career, raising the next generation of healthcare workers in the Bailiwick! How has that been going?

“It’s part of the plan but I don’t think right now many children or their parents/teachers may want them in the laboratory at the moment. So I’ve been looking at ways to adapt learning and hopefully fingers crossed I have a project idea which involves me taking Harvey’s Gang to the children.”

  •  How have you benefitted from your runner-up prize of £1,000 from last years Healthcare Bursary?

“Once we’ve had approval we will be using the prize money to put towards some state of the art equipment to enhance the learning for children, not just in the lab but out in schools or even a club.”

  •  Sadly this years Awards are postponed until 2021 due to the affect of the Coronavirus. Would you have any advice for Healthcare workers in the Bailiwick who have a project or idea worthy of entering?

“If you believe in your project keep pushing, keep asking questions even though the awards aren’t going ahead show your ideas to management and stay passionate.”

  •  What are your plans for the Harveys Gang project during the remainder of 2020? Do you have any new ideas that you’ll be looking to enter next year?

“I do have plans over the next couple of months for a more digitally interactive way of showcasing healthcare science to children in Guernsey, so watch this space.”

We look forward to following your progress and wish you the very best with all of your projects! Thank you for everything that you and the team do for the Bailiwick.


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