An £88,000 donation from the Oddfellows H A Andrews Memorial Fund has made it possible for the University of Bradford’s Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU) to undertake a three-year medical research project investigating hard to heal wounds and burns.
The Unit was founded following the fire disaster at Bradford City Football Club in 1985, in which 56 people lost their lives and 358 were injured.
Officially titled ‘Exploiting the Hair Follicle as the Preferential Source of Wound Healing Cells in the Human Skin’, the £88,000 donation will also support an investigation into how the treatment of wounds for those with diabetes can be improved.
The project was successfully nominated for funding by members of the Oddfellows friendship society in Huddersfield, who found out about the Unit’s good work on the 30th anniversary of the tragic fire last year. It was also seconded by the local Bradford group of Oddfellows members.
Professor Des Tobin, Director of the University’s Centre for Skin Sciences, explained, “With an increasingly ageing population, improving our knowledge and understanding of the wound healing environment is more important than ever, not to mention improving the quality of life of those already suffering with associated physical and psychological trauma.”
Lifelong Bradford City fans and Oddfellows members Bob and Jean Campbell from Shipley were at the stadium on the fateful day of fire in May 1985, and visited the Unit with Society representatives to hand over the first year’s funding.
“The fire had such a devastating effect on our community,” said Bob. “Jean and I feel very proud to be involved in such a significant contribution to future research at the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit, and to be supporting the great work they do.”
“Giving back is what our Society is all about,” agreed Valerie Ashcroft, Chairman of the Oddfellows. “We’re delighted that our donation will be put to such good use and look forward to seeing the results in three years’ time.”
The Oddfellows (www.oddfellows.co.uk) is one of the largest and oldest friendly societies in the UK, with over 310,000 members across 136 Branches nationwide. The local Bradford District organises an active social programme and provides help and support to members, who have access to a range of financial and care benefits for £30 a year.
The Society’s H A Andrews Memorial Fund was established in 1971 and provides financial support to UK projects or organisations involved in, or conducting, medical research. To date, over £780,000 has been donated to good causes including Parkinson’s UK, the Stroke Association and the Spinal Research Trust.
For more information about the events and activities of the Oddfellows in and around Bradford, please contact Janet Booth on janet.booth@oddfellows.co.uk or by calling 01943 878864.

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