BREATH PhD Students Raising Funds for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland

PhD students at UWS are raising funds for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland by participating in a sponsored abseil from the Forth Rail Bridge on 10th June.

The five research students – Fawziye Tarhini, Mariarca Bailo, Mark Thomas, Kimberly Black and Kirsty McCallum – are all working on the BREATH (Border and Regions Airways Training Hub) project for their PhDs.

The BREATH project, which is a cross-border partnership between University of the West of Scotland, Queen’s University Belfast and the Dundalk Institute of Technology, will develop cross-border research to better understand and alleviate the impact of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

COPD is an incurable lung disease that is a leading cause of death worldwide, and is particularly prevalent in both South West Scotland and Ireland. In Ayrshire & Arran and Dumfries & Galloway, COPD-related hospital admission is amongst the highest in the UK. It significantly impairs quality of life and has a high cost to health services and the wider economy.

The €7.7 million EU INTERREG VA funded BREATH project has established a world-class cluster of researchers who will help address the causes, treatment and potential prevention of COPD. In 2011 the annual economic burden of COPD across the EU was estimated at approximately €141.4 billion.

Due to their involvement in the BREATH project the research students were keen to raise funds for a charity that aids COPD patients.

Kimberly Black, 22, who lives in Blantyre, said: “We decided to abseil off the Forth Rail Bridge to raise funds for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, a charity that provides support for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients in Scotland.

“Every hour of every day 100,000 people in Scotland struggle to breathe because of a chronic chest illness.  All five of us are committed, through our contribution to the BREATH project, to help tackle the problem of COPD. We are delighted to be doing a bit for such an important cause.”

To sponsor the students visit
and for more information on the BREATH project visit its twitter page,