Glasgow Students Cycle to Greece for Charity


Credit: Glasgow Guardian / Rachel Wood

Jonathan Peters

5 doctors will complete the 3,000 km cycle to raise funds for Lothian Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre and Médecins Sans Frontières.

In May this year, 5 junior doctors from Glasgow will cycle from the UK to Greece, crossing Germany, Austria, the Alps and the Balkan states, in a journey which will take 2 months. Upon arriving in Greece, the group will assist charities and NGOs working with refugees, providing them with medical aid and expertise.

The doctors hope to raise money for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders), an NGO with over 60 staff currently working in Greece. The organisation provides lifesaving surgery and medical care to thousands of refugees stranded on the Greek islands.

The fundraisers will remain in Greece after their journey to help the vulnerable displaced people who have nowhere else to go after the route to Europe was closed in March 2016. The doctors hope that this trip will raise awareness of the crisis and the vital services which MSF provide.

Explaining their decision to go to Greece and help, the doctors have said: “It may be thought that those who have made it to Europe are safe; unfortunately, that’s not the case. With the increasing restrictions on movement in Europe, many have been left stranded in Greece.

“Thousands are living in appalling, unsanitary conditions, sleeping rough in sub-zero temperatures with no information on their legal status or when their terrible ordeal will be over.

“These vulnerable displaced people, who have already suffered so much, deserve the right to sanitation, healthcare, psychological support and access to fair and efficient asylum procedures.

“We think we have a responsibility to help.”

They are also raising funds for Lothian Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre, an Edinburgh based charity which provides support services for people living with MS. One of the doctors taking part in the cycle has recently been diagnosed with the condition, and she credits the therapy centre with helping her and others receive vital treatment and support.

The 5 doctors work in hospitals across Glasgow, and 4 of them are currently studying for a post-graduate diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene at the University of Glasgow. They hope to raise £7,000 for the 2 charities.

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