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Supporting medical students

10 December 2009

Professor Paul Morgan at the launch of the Dr Jack Matthews Scholarship FundProfessor Paul Morgan at the launch of the Dr Jack Matthews Scholarship Fund

Charity projects which help support some of the world’s most underdeveloped healthcare systems are set to benefit from the help of University students as part of a major new medical scholarship scheme.

The first successful medical students to receive Dr Jack Matthews Scholarships have been announced. The funds will help send the winners to remote parts of the world including Madagascar, Latin America, Sierra Leone and Mongolia to support a variety of key medical projects.

Launched in April 2009, the Dr Jack Matthews Scholarship Fund allows the University’s School of Medicine to help towards the cost of medical students undertaking athletic, artistic, medical or charity work.

The successful Dr Jack Matthews Scholarship international winners include:

Tom Roberts, who has already visited and supported healthcare clinics in Mongolia, was awarded a £400 scholarship to help fund a return trip in the summer of 2010 to a small under-staffed rural clinic in Mongolia to provide health care assistance.

Sarah Bowden, awarded a £400 scholarship to support her work in a rural hospital in Sierra Leone. During a planned six-week stay, Sarah will provide a report outlining the areas of maternal and child health that could most benefit from a link with Cardiff University’s School of Medicine and the University Hospital of Wales.

Elisabeth Redman, awarded a £250 scholarship to support her work with the charity MEDRI. The charity offers free medical and dental treatment and health education to hundreds of people living in temporary camps in Northern Uganda.

Naomi Riddel was awarded a £400 scholarship to support a trip to develop Special Education Needs provision in Mauritius. Naomi will use her previous gap-year experience of working with children with complex special needs to help introduce and implement a range of methods of working with children with specific medical needs, sensory impairments, physical difficulties, developmental delays, and behavioural issues.

Professor Paul Morgan, Dean of the School of Medicine, said: "Our students continue to represent the School at the highest of levels both in achievements outside the lecture theatres and in their medical professions.

"The decision to establish the Dr Jack Matthews Scholarship Fund was taken to encourage our medical students to reach their full potential and broaden their horizons.

"The fact that Cardiff medical students want to broaden their horizons in this way is an illustration of the dedication they have for both their medical studies and for supporting others.

"That is why I am delighted that some of the first Dr Jack Matthews Scholarships have been awarded to help support such important international health projects in some of the most underdeveloped health care systems across the world."

In total, 15 scholarships were awarded to students across all five years of medical study. Funding was also awarded to help support travel costs for a variety of local charity projects, language courses, and athletic expenses.

As well as international projects, scholarships were also awarded to support local community projects.

Katherine Burden, Catherine Bathurst and Bethany Watt were awarded a £500 scholarship to help support their charity work with Cardiff teenagers.

The funds will allow the three - who are all volunteers at the Radiate youth lounge at the Beacon Centre in St Mellons - to arrange trips including swimming lessons and Christmas visits to Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland.

Professor Morgan added: "We, as a School, have been aware that our students do these wonderful things for a long time. The Dr Jack Scholarships allows us to help the most exceptional students and we want to show the wider community what they do.

"I am particularly glad that we have been able to support projects like the Radiate youth lounge which helps give back something to the communities that we serve."

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