Anita’s Honorary Fellowship video is now on Youtube. It is just over five minutes long, but does a great job of telling the whole Bansang story. Thank you to Northampton University for making Anita an Honorary Fellow, and for doing such a great job with the editing!
The University of Northampton has presented Anita Smith MBE with an Honorary Fellowship at this year’s Summer Graduation Ceremonies.
In 1992, Anita who lives in Orlingbury, Northamptonshire, visited the Gambia for a family holiday and had experiences which led her to devote her life to improving healthcare delivery in Bansang, located deep in the African bush 200 miles from the coast. She founded the Bansang Hospital Appeal and has worked tirelessly ever since to reverse the hospital’s once terminal decline.
To date, over 47 shipping containers of supplies have been donated from her charity work in the UK. Achievements include; the building and equipping of a brand new 80-bed children’s unit, with the further redesign and refurbishment of other hospital wards, the refurbishment and installation of operating theatres, the installation of a hospital-wide computer system, modern obstetric suite, along with sustainable medical equipment throughout.
Anita recognised that retaining and motivating staff was key and in 2008 she received an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen for services to healthcare. Every single member of staff is valued, supported and invited to contribute towards the ongoing development of the hospital.
The charity also arranges for international volunteers to work in the hospital allowing them to gain skills and improve practice. Anita’s intervention at Bansang has meant that communities across the entire region have been saved from losing loved ones to preventable causes.
On being awarded her Honorary Fellowship, Anita said: “When I first opened the letter saying that I had been awarded an Honorary Fellowship, I couldn’t believe it! I just have to say that it is a huge privilege, a great honour and my family are all very proud. The graduates today have a huge advantage over me; you have the medical background, you have this wonderful university where you have been studying and you can go that step further than me. The world is so much smaller now and there are no boundaries for where your career is now going to take you.”
Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of the University of Northampton, commented: “In addition to celebrating the outstanding achievements of the graduating class of summer 2014, we are also recognising high profile individuals who have collectively impacted, directly or indirectly, many millions of people worldwide through their acting, music, charitable activities or the social enterprises they run. These recipients of honorary awards will, no doubt, motivate our graduates as they go out into the world and transform lives and inspire change amongst all those who come into contact with them.”
We are delighted to announce that the BHA has been awarded the “British Plumbing Employers Council Life Award, 2013” . This award was set up in 2011 in memory of BPEC’s founding chariman, Raymond J Brooks. It supports projects that“recognise and facilitate the use of plumbing skills to benefit life anywhere in the world through knowledge, imagination and determination”.
The £15,006.02 BPEC Life Award will allow us to completely transform the sanitation provisions at Bansang Hospital. We will at last be able to install new toilets and shower cubicles in the Maternity Ward, Eye Unit, Labour and Female Wards. We are also going to be able to push ahead with a long-term ambition; to build a new toilet/shower block for the Physio Ward and Maintenance Unit, along with a further toilet/shower block for the Kitchen, Laundry and Stores.
Anita receiving the award from Watson Carlill
Receiving the cheque from BPEC Chairman Frank Glover and Chief Executive, Paul Johnson
Rae Davies & Anita with the BPEC Award
Anita, BPEC Trustees and the other finalists.
Trustee Mark Antrobus, Anita and Nick Foley
Rae Davies, Mark Antrobus, Anita and Nick
Addressing the sanitation needs of the hospital have been priority issues for us for many years; it is therefore a hugely important intervention from BPEC, and one which we are so very pleased to have secured on behalf of the wonderful staff and patients of Bansang. Effective sanitation saves lives; this award is going to help us hugely in our fight against unnecessary mortality at Bansang.
Huge thanks go out to Nick Foley and Rae Davies; without their help, we wouldn’t have discovered the BPEC Life Award, or indeed been eligible to apply for it! & finally, thank you again to BPEC for believing in all that we do in Bansang. It is a fantastic honour to have the hospital recognised in this way. We very much look forward to welcoming you all into the ‘Bansang Family’!
Completed more than 6 years ago, the 80 bed children’s ward is one of Bansang Hospital Appeal’s finest achievements. Since it has opened, child mortality rates have plummeted. The children have benefited enormously from a myriad of ‘firsts’ that the ward has introduced. The ward certainly wouldn’t have been funded and built in such short order without the tremendous support of the BBC, and in particular, the ‘Inside Out’ programming team from BBC Look East. Their initial documentary generated an incredible amount of interest when it was first aired in 2005.
I am therefore so very pleased to be able to upload their 2006 follow up documentary. It isn’t a long video, but it does really highlight what the children’s ward means to everyone in Bansang (myself included!). I hope you enjoy it;