Proud To Help: Professor & Football Team fly the flag for University campaign

Tue 30 June, 2020
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The humbling efforts of a student football team and a public health academic have been recognised and chosen to represent the University of Bedfordshire in a national ‘Proud To Help’ campaign.

Proud To Help is part of the Universities UK’s social media initiative #WeAreTogether, which showcases examples of solidarity, aid and community spirit during this challenging time.

This campaign specifically highlights the outstanding efforts of members of staff and students who have gone above and beyond in their support of their local communities, fundraising opportunities and of each other. Due to their outstanding efforts, Bedfordshire’s football team and Professor Gurch Randhawa were handpicked for this initiative.

The University’s Football Team – the Bedford Bulls – showed fantastic fundraising ability by raising over £5,800 for NHS Charities Together by running the equivalent 2,302 miles to Croatia and back.

The initiative was formed after the team’s tour to Pula in Croatia was cancelled due to lockdown restrictions. The team managed to turn the disappointing news into an opportunity to do good, recruiting players, past and present, to contribute to the total miles ran all across the country.

Cory McDade, Vice President of the team, said: “As a committee we thought it would be a great idea to try and raise some money, even if it was just £250 (our initial target).

“Each day we continued to be astounded by people’s generosity to donate despite what we’re all going through at the moment”.

Professor Gurch Randhawa, Director of Bedfordshire’s Institute for Health Research, has worked tirelessly, using his expertise to provide essential advice to diverse communities, including those most affected by Covid-19.

Professor Randhawa, who has 25 years of experience working on projects to improve health in diverse communities, has worked closely with the UK’s Sikh community, appearing on Sikh Channel several times during lockdown to provide professional advice relating to how people can safely practice their religion and help those in the wider Sikh community.

The Men’s Health Forum also recently invited Professor Randhawa to speak at a webinar for #MensHealthWeek. As part of the panel, he discussed the health risks and disproportionate effects of Covid-19 on BAME communities, raising awareness into the work that the Institute for Health Research does to tackle health inequalities in diverse communities.

Throughout the pandemic he has continued to discuss these important public health concerns and offer advice across countless regional and national broadcast platforms, including BBC Asian Network, BBC Look East, ITV News Anglia, Al Jazeera UK, RT UK Radio and BBC Three Counties. His expertise has also been featured in national news stories by outlets including Men’s Health, Mail Online, MSN, Yahoo! UK and the Mirror.

Professor Randhawa said: “I feel it’s my duty to help raise awareness and reach out to communities that may be harder to engage during these uncertain times”.

The University of Bedfordshire has seen many staff members and students going the extra mile to help in the fight against Covid-19. Read all about them in the University’s own #ProudToBeBeds campaign.

To learn more about Universities UK’s #WeAreTogether and Proud To Help campaigns, follow them on Twitter.




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