University is a Heart Hero
Staff and students at the University of St Andrews have been honoured with a prestigious national charity award after helping to raise tens of thousands of pounds for life-saving research into heart and circulatory diseases.
The University scooped the Retail Partner accolade at the virtual British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Heart Hero Awards last night (Tuesday 20 October) in recognition of their support for the work of the heart charity.
In less than a year, 39 tonnes of donations were made to the BHF after the University signed up for the BHF’s Pack for Good campaign last February – with students and staff donating their unwanted clothes, furniture and electrical goods to provide much needed stock for the BHF’s shops in St Andrews and Dundee.
Sales from these goods potentially raised up to £80,000 for BHF research. The campaign also plays an important environmental role by diverting unwanted items from landfill.
Alexander Clark, Environmental Officer at the University of St Andrews, said: “Working with the BHF on the Pack for Good campaign has been fantastic.
“It is wonderful to be recognised with this award which really puts St Andrews on the map, highlighting all the positive work that has been going on to raise money for the BHF and reduce waste.
“The campaign offers a really good solution to an issue which all universities face – namely what to do with left over furniture and items at the end of term. I would definitely recommend signing up to take part in Pack for Good as it’s making a real difference in our communities in so many ways.”
The team at the University has worked hard to make it easier for students to donate. There are now 19 new donation points across campus and work is ongoing to extend the Pack for Good campaign to those students living off campus, creating additional donation points at private rental properties.
The BHF’s Heart Hero Award ceremony was held virtually last night, presented by Vernon Kay, celebrating individuals of all ages who have shown immense strength in the face of adversity or have made a significant impact in helping those living with heart and circulatory diseases.
In Scotland, nearly 50 people die each day from heart and circulatory diseases. Around 720,000 people across the country are living with their daily burden and in Fife, they are estimated to affect around 50,000 people.
The BHF is the largest independent funder of research into heart and circulatory diseases in Scotland, supporting hundreds of scientists at universities across the country. But the coronavirus crisis has had an impact on the BHF’s income.
James Jopling, Head of BHF Scotland, said: “During this extremely difficult time, the efforts of our wonderful supporters means a great deal, as we face the hardest period that the BHF has had in its 60-year history.
“Huge congratulations and thank you to the staff and students in St Andrews for getting behind our Pack for Good campaign, as we rely heavily on generous stock donations to help fund our life-saving research. This is one of our most successful university partnerships to date and we look forward to continuing to work together to raise vital funds and reduce waste.”
Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.