Beds Professor appointed Keech ambassador

Wed 19 May, 2021
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A University of Bedfordshire academic has been appointed as one of Keech Hospice Care’s new envoys, following the launch of the charity’s ambassador programme.

Gurch Randhawa, Professor of Diversity in Public Health and Director of the Institute for Health Research, is one of nine high-profile, local figures to become an ambassador of the Luton-based hospice.

Keech Hospice Care, who provide free, specialist care for adults in Luton and south Bedfordshire, as well as children with life-limiting and terminal illnesses across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes, began their search for ambassadors in November 2020 and announced the first appointments in April this year.

The programme hopes to form a dynamic relationship between the charity and key individuals across the three counties who are passionate about the hospice’s work. Through these relationships, each ambassador will endeavour to provide Keech with a unique set of skills, opening up new channels of expertise and influence.

Originating from a wide variety of backgrounds, the ambassadors will form a far-reaching positive voice, promoting the hospice’s services and facilitating the expansion of its supporter network.

Gurch RandhawaProfessor Randhawa, whose research focusses on giving voice and providing informed choice on a range of health issues to all sections of the UK’s diverse population, is delighted with his appointment. He said:

“I am honoured to serve as an ambassador as I have been associated with Keech Hospice Care for over 20 years, during which time I have been contributing to the evidence base on enabling culturally competent end-of-life care services. 

“I am proud of the ongoing research and training partnership between the University and Keech Hospice Care.”

HM Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis, who became Keech Hospice Care’s official patron in November 2020, selected Professor Randhawa for the position. Professor Randhawa was also named a Deputy Lieutenant of Bedfordshire by the Lord Lieutenant in 2017.

Aside from Professor Randhawa, the ambassadors have been confirmed as Andy Coleman, Geoffrey Farr MBE, Kate Holland-Hibbert, Devi Kolli, Mostaque Koyes, Matthew Long, Vinod Tailor MBE and Robert Voss CBE CStJ Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire.

Liz Searle, CEO at Keech Hospice Care, commented:

“I am delighted to launch our new ambassador programme in our 30th anniversary year.

Amy Bourbon and Arty“We rely on our supporters for around 70% of the funding we need to provide our vital care, and I know that our new ambassadors will have a huge impact. They are going to be invaluable in terms of raising awareness and increasing our supporter network which, after the COVID-19 pandemic, are needed now more than ever.”

Professor Randhawa’s appointment as an ambassador of Keech Hospice Care is the latest in a line of ties between the hospice and the University. The University is a long-standing supporter of the charity and is sponsoring two elephants – Artie and Bedzy – in this summer’s Big Trunk Trail, which is taking place across Luton.

For more information on Keech Hospice Care’s ambassador programme, or to learn more about the ambassadors themselves, click here.

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