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Cymraeg

£1 million donation for burns research in Wales

12 October 2007

A UK awarding body associated with hairdressing and beauty therapy is donating £1 million to support vital research at a major UK Centre for Burns Research based at Cardiff University and Morriston Hospital, Swansea. The first donation of its kind by The Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT), it is the largest single contribution to the pioneering research programme soon to start in South Wales.

The VTCT - a Government approved awarding body offering National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) in the areas of Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing, Holistic & Complementary Therapies and Sports & Fitness - is supporting the appointment of the VTCT Professor of Burn Injury Study at the Healing Foundation UK Centre for Burns Research. The Healing Foundation, a national charity funding medical research in the area of disfigurement, is establishing the Centre in partnership with Cardiff University, the Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, and Swansea University. It is the first major academic research Centre of its kind in the country.

The Professor, to be appointed later this year following an international search and selection process, will research the body’s immunological response to burns to better understand how the life-threatening inflammation and infection problems that follow major burns can be overcome.

Peter Wren, Chief Executive of the VTCT, said: "Our work, and the careers of those we help to train in beauty therapy, is closely associated with appearance and beauty; about looking and feeling good. It seems only right to put something back. The area of disfigurement, and burns especially, is such an important, urgent and compelling cause. We are delighted to be supporting the appointment of the VTCT Professor and be among the first to contribute to this major research initiative in South Wales".

Welcoming the collaboration, Professor Nick Topley, School of Medicine’s Department of Nephrology said: "This gift from the VTCT marks a major milestone for the future of burns research. It will support the VTCT Professor of Burn Injury Study for a minimum of 10 years, during which time I have no doubt that significant advances will be made in our understanding of major burn injuries. It promises the hope of new treatments for burns survivors in the future, reducing the pain and disability caused and possibly saving many thousands of lives, worldwide, otherwise lost through burns".

Former steelworker Wayne Barnes of Neath, survived severe burns in the Corus Port Talbot Steelworks explosion of 2001. Welcoming the involvement of the VTCT he said, "I think it’s wonderful that this money is going to help improve treatments for people like me in the future. I was very lucky to be treated at Morriston Hospital where the quality of care and the amazing skills of the surgeons helped me to pull through. The work supported by the VTCT and the Healing Foundation, in Swansea and Cardiff, will make sure that the very best treatments are available for everyone in the future".

Ends

MEDIC24 burns announcement

Notes to Editors:

The Healing Foundation is a new national fundraising charity established in 1999. Their objects are for the relief of sickness and for the preservation and protection of public health by:

* Carrying out and funding research into the improvements of treatments for the benefit of people who suffer from physical, psychological, social, or emotional disadvantage as a result of physical disfigurement or functional impairment present at birth or acquired through accident, disease, or illness and into the prevention of accidents which may cause such conditions

* Disseminating the results of this research and helping to train health workers in appropriate treatments throughout the world

* Informing people about the availability of treatments both new and in development

For more information please visit: www.thehealingfoundation.org

The Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT) is a Government approved Awarding Body offering National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) and other Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQs). It has been in existence in one form or another for over forty years and has been at the forefront of developing the vocational system of qualifications in the United Kingdom. Remaining specialised in the areas of Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing, Holistic & Complementary Therapies and Sports & Fitness has enabled the company to gain an experienced team with the knowledge to stay ahead of the game in these areas.

There are 28 VTCT-approved Centres in South Wales, including centres in Cardiff, Swansea, Haverfordwest and one within HM Prison, Cardiff.

For more information please visit: www.vtct.org.uk

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of Britain’s leading research universities.

Visit the University website at: www.cardiff.ac.uk

Further Information:

Brendan Eley
The Healing Foundation
Tel: 020 7869 6920
Fax: 020 7869 6929
E-mail: brendane@thehealingfoundation.org

Emma Darling
Public Relations
Cardiff University
Tel: 02920874499
Email: DarlingEL@cardiff.ac.uk