By Press Office 06 May 2015

Queen Margaret University is to hold an awareness day to raise vital funds to support people affected by the devastating earthquake in Nepal.

The event, which will take place on Thursday 14 th May, will provide essential funds for students from Nepal, who are currently studying at the University, and students at the University’s partner institution Silver Mountain School of Hotel Management in Kathmandu.

Many of QMU’s Nepalese students have families whose lives and homes have been devastated by the earthquake. Some have returned to Nepal to assist their loved ones and communities who desperately need access to food, shelter and supplies. Some graduates of QMU’s Institute for International Health and Development are applying everything they have learned whilst studying at the University, to help with the relief effort across Nepal.

Keen to demonstrate solidarity with Nepalese friends, students and colleagues, Queen Margaret University’s staff will be holding a series of events throughout the day (14th May) to engage students, staff and local residents in fundraising efforts.

Yoga classes, cake runs, a sponsored run or walk, and a quiz night will provide a variety of different ways for people to engage with the awareness event. 

Oonagh O’Brien, Lecturer from QMU’s Institute for International Health and Development, explained: “We are hearing harrowing accounts every day from our friends and students in Nepal about the impact the disaster is having on their communities. It is difficult to comprehend the magnitude of the catastrophe and to know how best to provide appropriate help, but everyone at the University is keen to get involved and do something positive to support.”

She continued: “We have a range of activities that people can take part in or can just come along to support. The University has also set up a Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund to allow people to make online donations. We would also welcome local residents who wish to participate in our quiz night and ‘Introduction to Yoga’ classes. The more people who can offer support, the better.”

Oonagh continued: “However, we are acutely aware that it will take a long time for Nepal to recover from the effects of the earthquake. Aside from fundraising, QMU is utilising its expertise in psychosocial support work which is very effective in helping communities recover from disaster. The University’s Institute for International Health and Development is involved in the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Network (, an online facility which promotes better mental health through psychosocial and community support in humanitarian emergencies.”

Richard Bent, Senior Lecturer in Business, is helping to organise the quiz night. He said: “Our collaboration with Silver Mountain School of Hotel Management in Kathmandu, where we deliver degree programmes in Hospitality and Tourism to over 150 students, means we have a deep empathy for the plight of our colleagues and students in Nepal. Silver Mountain’s grounds are now a safe haven for many orphan children and others who are using the facility as a source of shelter and food. Many of students and staff at Silver Mountain have been baking bread and running a soup kitchen to help the community.”

Richard continued: “Already, we have been overwhelmed with people who want to support our charity quiz night. We therefore have amazing prizes up for grabs and a fantastic raffle.”

Richard concluded: “We want people to come along and have some fun. However, the most important thing for everyone will be that money raised from the quiz, or other events during the Awareness Day, will go directly to our students and staff in Nepal whose lives have been shattered by the effects of the earthquake.”

Donations can be paid into the Queen Margaret University’s Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund at:

The timetable for the events on Thursday 14th May:

12.15pm – 1pm

‘Introduction to Yoga’ class

QMU sports hall

run by Elspeth Talbot E:

1pm – 1.45pm

‘Run or Walk for Nepal’

Come and support  and sponsor runners/walkers doing circuits of the QMU campus -meet at 1pm in the University square in front of the sports centre.


organised by Oonagh O’Brien E:


1.15pm – 2pm

‘Introduction to Yoga’ class

QMU sports hall

run by Elspeth Talbott, E:


Trolley cake run

(volunteers needed to bake cakes to be sold on the cake run)

around staff area and atrium within QMU

organised by Kirsty Taylor E: and Josefa Buckland E:

6.30pm – 10.30pm

Charity Quiz Night

QMU Students’ Union

Food Prepared by Hospitality team and students

Fantastic Raffle with some amazing prizes. Team of 4 maximum - £40.

organised by Richard Bent E: and Marc Robertson E:


Notes to Editor

More information on the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Network ( which involves experts from Queen Margaret University

The Institute for International Health and Development (IIHD) at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh is providing support for victims of the Nepal earthquake which has claimed the lives of nearly 3800 people so far. IIHD is involved through the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Network (, QMU’s online facility which promotes better mental health and community support in humanitarian emergencies. More information at:


For further media information please contact Lynne Russell, Communications Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E: T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239, or Jon Perkins, E: ; T: 0131 474 0000

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