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UCLan students lead UK fundraiser to help families of healthcare workers who have died from Covid-19

Posted on - 31st January, 2021 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Health, Preston News, Proud Preston, UCLan, University campus
The UCLan campus in Preston Pic: Tony Worrall
UCLan’s campus in Preston Pic: Tony Worrall

Two University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) medical students are leading a national fundraiser to help the families of healthcare workers who have died from Covid-19.

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Sai Pillarisetti and Mustafa Boorenie want to raise money for those who were fighting on the frontline during the second wave of the pandemic.

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The duo, who are in their fourth year of their Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) course, are leading the drive in their capacity as members of the British International Doctors Association (BIDA) Student Wing.

Sai, Founder and President BIDA Student Wing, said: “As student doctors, we feel strongly in paying tribute to the families of our brave NHS healthcare workers who have sacrificed their lives in their selfless service to our nation and we hope you will join us by contributing to our cause.”

A British Medical Association report has revealed that while 21 per cent of all NHS healthcare workers are Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME), 63 per cent of frontline Covid-19 deaths were from the BAME community.

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These figures are even more pronounced in the medical doctor community where 44 per cent of NHS doctors are BAME, but 95 per cent of doctor deaths were BAME individuals.

Read more: Former B&M store in St John’s Shopping Arcade set to be converted for NHS use

Sai said: “These miserable statistics desperately highlight the need for organisations like BIDA to step in and continue to fulfil their long-established duty, by coming to the aid of its stakeholders.

“The BIDA Student Wing was inspired by our parent organisation’s heart-warming tribute and this time, we would like to take the lead in fundraising for this noble cause.

“Whether Covid-19 discriminates based on race is up for discussion, we will not make that distinction with regards to our proceeds and we intend to donate the money raised to the families of BAME and non-BAME healthcare workers who sadly died fighting on the frontline during the second wave of the pandemic.”

A mural at the Northern Way pub about coronavirus Pic: Tony Worrall
A mural at the Northern Way pub celebrating frontline workers Pic: Tony Worrall

In addition to collecting donations via JustGiving, they are launching a creative philanthropy initiative.

Students from across the UK are invited to submit BAME related artwork, illustrations or photographs which represent the theme ‘Beauty in Diversity.’

The project is running until mid-April and there will be prizes for the winning pieces of artwork.

The BAME themed pieces of artwork will be sold to BIDA members to display in their GP Surgeries and NHS Trusts and the proceeds will also be added to the fundraiser.

Read more: Call for Lancashire not to be penalised by having Covid vaccine supply cut

Mustafa, National Outreach Officer of the BIDA Student Wing, said: “As a medical student, I see how Covid-19 has affected the NHS first-hand. And I know this is a difficult time for many people, especially those who lost loved ones in this pandemic.

“Thus, it is also the time where we must extend our support to those who sacrificed the most. I am proud to be part of this movement and hope that everyone can join our mission to immortalise our legends using the power of art, and the beauty within diversity.”

Details about how to submit artwork to the project can be found on the BIDA website.

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What do you think of Sai and Mustafa’s efforts? Let us know in the comments.

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