September 2014

Vice-Chancellor takes ice bucket plunge for charity campaign

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Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof Ray Linforth was drenched in icy water to help raise awareness about motor neurone disease.

Prof Linforth accepted the ice bucket challenge to highlight the work of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, in particular the Birmingham and Solihull branch.

Charity campaigner Rachael Smith, a UCB food service vocational support worker, performed the honours at the university’s new McIntyre House in Holland Street.

Rachael got involved in fundraising for the MNDA following the death of her uncle Keith Barker in February. Keith, aged 68, a retired company secretary, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease just four months before he died.

Rachael hopes to stage a conference at UCB to educate staff, students and the university’s industry partners about the disease. She is also helping to organise a fundraising spring ball at Ramada Sutton Coldfield on 14 March 2015 with her friend Karen Mucklow, whose family has also been affected by MND.

Rachael said: “Our students train in vocational areas and deal with the public every day. It is right that they should be aware of a disease that claims the lives of five people every day in the UK.”

Prof Linforth was nominated for the challenge by QHotels. Ross Maloney, chief executive of Find a Future, helped with dousing duties.

Prof Linforth faced the challenge dressed in mortarboard and gown on the new café terrace at McIntyre House and nominated David Cragg, deputy chairman of The Skills Show, to perform the ice bucket challenge.

  • Details about the MNDA spring ball can be found here.
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