Last week we brought you news that our fabulous Chief Executive, Ghazala Baig, was going to receive an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bolton in recognition of her services to healthcare. We can now report that the ceremony took place last Friday 14 July 2023 at Bolton Town Hall.
In her graduation speech, Ghazala spoke about her father’s legacy. Ghazala is the daughter of Karim Din, founder of the Victoria Park Mosque, who received an award from the Queen for his achievements during the 1970s in integrating the Muslim community into Manchester. She says: “My first experience of giving to the community was through my father. My father was one of the first Asian entrepreneurs in Manchester, having travelled over from Pakistan in 1923 aged only 17. Even now, he is remembered by those who have benefited from his charitable nature. It was these acts that inspired me to seek a career in the third sector.”
She went on to talk about MedEquip4Kids and the lifesaving medical equipment we have provided for children in hospital during our 38-year history. This led on to the development of the Hummingbird Project in 2017 with support from Professor Jerome Carson and Dr Chathurika Kannangara from the University of Bolton. Ghazala explained: “The programme has now introduced concepts of positive psychology such as resilience, kindness, character strengths, mindfulness and gratitude to over 4,500 students across the North West. What makes this programme even more special is that our Project Lead, Ian Platt, is also a graduate from the University of Bolton.”
Finally, Ghazala encouraged the Bolton graduands to consider pursuing a career in the charity sector. She spoke about the importance of giving, concluding that: “Science has proven that the act of giving increases our own happiness as well as that of the recipient, making it one of the most powerful wellbeing activities there is. Best of all, it’s something we can all do now. We all have so much to give- not just money, but time, effort, knowledge, patience and compassion.”