Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 15.36.11Students at a North East university are joining forces with a unique charity to make everyday life simpler for cancer patients, and help them to focus on fighting this terrible disease.

Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care was created by well-known philanthropist Brian Burnie – a North East millionaire who gave away his fortune to help others – providing transport to and from hospital for patients undergoing cancer treatment sessions.

The charity is a world first and has called on students at the University of Sunderland  to help raise the profile of the life-changing work they do, which aims to make everyday life as a cancer patient simpler, and enable people to concentrate on fighting the disease.

Brian Burnie said: “Meeting the University of Sunderland students for the first time at our offices, Jean Ross (Trust Secretary) and I were most impressed by the enthusiasm and preparation by the students for the project they were undertaking.

“Once completed, I know the project will certainly promote the work of the volunteers and the charity.  It will also provide the students with an insight into the difficulties and challenges the patients face on a daily basis, travelling to and from hospital for treatment.”

Public Relations undergraduates at Sunderland have been tasked with creating an innovative campaign which they will then pitch to the charity. It is all part of the University’s commitment to business engagement and making a difference to the North East community.

Diane Green, Programme Leader for the PR Degree, said: “We find that helping our PR students to gain real world experience is the best way for them to develop and showcase the skills we teach them in the classroom.

“This dramatically increases their confidence, contacts and employability. Daft as a Brush has presented us with a particularly interesting and worthwhile challenge and we are looking forward to helping them meet their ambition – which is to care for many more cancer patients.”

Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care operates throughout the North East, delivering cancer patients to the Freeman hospital in Newcastle and returning them home afterwards. The charity will complete 15,000 journeys this year, and has a fleet of 17 ambulances each costing £20,000.