This year the annual “Air the Bear” event, where the Glasgow Clan Ice Hockey team supporters throw new toys on to the ice for local charities such as Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children, will also benefit the Malaria Alert Centre in Blantyre, Malawi.
The club joined forces with the University of Glasgow to ship toys to Blantyre, Malawi, to give to children waking up from a malaria coma.
The University of Glasgow’s Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation and the Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology (WCMP) has close research links with Malawi. It is a fruitful collaboration relationship that stretches back to the days of renowned Scottish explorer, Dr David Livingstone.
Today, scientists at the University, when travelling to Malawi for research, use their baggage allowance to take donations of surplus medical supplies and equipment to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi.
The next research trip will include this very special delivery of toys directly from the Glasgow Clan and their very generous fans.
Gareth Chalmers, Chief Operating Officer at the Glasgow Clan Ice Hockey team said: “We were recently approached by Clan fan Michael Rennie, who works as a research technician at the University of Glasgow, regarding supporting the Malaria Alert Centre with soft toys from our annual Air the Bear event. As it’s for a very worthwhile cause, we had no hesitation in agreeing to support this. We’d once again like to thank the whole Purple Army for their generosity.”
Professor Andy Waters, Director of the University of Glasgow’s WCMP, said: “We have been providing toys for these children in Malawi for some time now, usually pre-used and donated by colleagues and their friends. It is difficult to overstate how appreciated the toys are by the children and their families who have just come through the most stressful of circumstances.
“The fantastic generosity of the Glasgow Clan Ice Hockey team will ensure that more Blantyre children will be comforted as they pull through a life-threatening illness due to the skill and dedication of the staff at Malawi’s QEH.”