2021-GCU joins doctors COP26 bike ride

GCU staff and students join doctors on COP26 bike ride

Sun, 31 Oct 2021 17:40:00 GMT
GCU School of Health and Life Sciences staff and students join doctors on a Ride for their Lives bike ride to save the planet
GCU School of Health and Life Sciences staff and students join doctors on a Ride for their Lives bike ride to save the planet

Staff and students from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) School of Health and Life Sciences got on their bikes to support 70 doctors in a 500-mile Ride for their Lives COP26 event.

The peddling paediatricians completed the gruelling 500-mile cycle from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London to Glasgow to raise awareness of the health damages of pollution, particularly on children, as COP26 kicked off on Sunday 31 October.

The GCU team, led by School of Health and Life Sciences (SHLS) Acting Dean Professor Anita Simmers, joined the cyclists on the last leg of their cycle from the Royal Children’s Hospital in Govan to the finish line at Gartnavel Hospitals in the West End of the city.

Professor Simmers was delighted that staff and students SHLS came out to support the Ride for their Lives event to save the planet and welcomed the cyclists to Glasgow as they arrived in the city for the COP26 World Health Organization Global Conference on Health and Climate Change.

She was invited to speak at the finish line and congratulated the doctors, describing the bike ride as a “fantastic achievement and truly inspiring”.

Professor Simmers said: “The future of our young people and their children is under threat, and we must act now. Together, we have to be the generation that provides solutions to avert catastrophic climate change.

“As the University for the Common Good, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) underpins everything we do.  It is crucial to deliver on the SDGs so we can produce a better climate and sustainable future.

“GCU is at the frontline of tackling climate change through our cutting-edge research and education which supports communities both internationally and in Scotland. Our Centre for Climate Justice, ensures the voices of people in the Global South - who are being hit first and hardest – are heard. 

“Our BEAM research centre is at the cutting edge of helping us to develop sustainable cities and communities, nature-based solutions, green infrastructure, and energy efficiency.

“Our School of Health and Life Sciences really is behind this event and initiative looking at clean air, pollution and helping the wellbeing of everyone.

“World leaders meeting at COP26 in Glasgow this week and next must take the action that is needed to tackle climate change.”

Staff and students who supported the Ride for their Lives bike ride included SHLS Acting Dean Professor Anita Simmers; Dr Suzanne Hagan, Vision Sciences researcher and Senior Lecturer; Gerard Bannigan, husband of Dr Katrina Bannigan, Reader and Head of the Department of Occupational Therapy and Human Nutrition and Dietetics; Shirley Tulloch, Administrative Assistant in the School Professional Services; and physiotherapy students Megan Macgregor and Piotr Marczak.

The Ride for their Lives cyclists were carrying an open letter for world leaders, signed by organisations around the world representing 45 million health professionals, and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COP26 Special Report on Climate Change and Health.

Both spell out the many and inseparable links between climate and health, and call for urgent action.

The cyclists were accompanied by Pollution Pods,  an installation by artist Michael Pinsky which allows people to experience a simulation of the air in the world’s most polluted cities. The Pods will “drift” up the country with the cycle journey. Update & Approve

A pollution pod will be installed at the GCU's Glasgow campus during COP26. To find out more about GCU and COP26 click on this link - www.gcu.ac.uk/cop26