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£1 million donation for burns research in Wales

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 bodys 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 Medicines 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 its 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.


Contact: Brendan Eley
Cardiff University

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