STUDENT nurses in York are raising funds to transport hospital equipment and teaching aids to Southern India to help provide free healthcare in poor, remote communities.

Hospital beds, resuscitation mannequinss, nursing textbooks, body models, text books and other aids are destined for the MA Chidambaram College of Nursing in Chennai after being packed into a sea container at the University of York this week.

They are being donated following the refurbishment of the Clinical Simulation Unit (CSU) in the Department of Health Sciences at York whose senior lecturer Anne Phillips visited the college in Chennai earlier this year.

While impressed by the staff and students and their compassionate approach to nursing care at the college, which works with a voluntary hospital to provide free healthcare to poor people in rural communities, Anne was shocked at the lack of teaching resources available.

Since then, students from the university’s Nursing Society (NurSoc) have been fundraising to transport the resources to Chennai, with efforts including a sponsored bungee jump in the dark, quizzes, cake stalls and a craft fair. Aviva, York, is also supporting NurSoc in their fundraising activities.

Head of the department Professor Hilary Graham said: “The college in Chennai supports the principle of access to care on the basis of need, not ability to pay, the principle at the heart of the NHS.

“We are upgrading the Clinical Simulation Unit in Health Sciences to ensure it continues to meet the standards of education and training expected for nurses and midwives in the UK; at the same time, we are aware the equipment we are replacing can significantly improve education and training in resource-poor communities beyond the UK.

“Resources – in education and health care as in all other areas of our lives – need to be used in sustainable ways if we are to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren.

“So, through the combined efforts of the Nursing Society (NurSoc) and Health Sciences staff, the sea container will ensure valuable teaching resources are not wasted, but instead made available to support other nursing students.”

Dr R Sudha, principal in charge of MA Chidambaram College, said: “We thank you very much for your efforts and for helping us by sending those lovely books, transparencies and nursing equipment. We are so very grateful.”

To support this project contact NurSoc at