We are now on day 9 of the Dying For Gold tour! Have a read of some of the latest blog posts from the TGTD team from Sheffield, Norwich and Cambridge.
Day 4: Sheffield
We rose on Sunday morning feeling slightly heavy from our delicious curry at the legendary Akbars, loaded the car and set our across mightily Yorkshire for Sheffield, the city of steel. The mining and industrial manufacturing history of the region is remembered in the names of bridges, rivers and towns across the region.
We arrived in Sheffield with no screening on Sunday night fully prepared to spend the day relaxing and catching up on ourselves.
On Monday we rose early and had a leisurely, delicious full Yorkshire breakfast and continued working on different bits and pieces. Saoirse went and spoke about the film at an event organised by the Sheffield Institute for International Development where she met with professor David Sanders of the University of the Western Cape where he works on public health and specifically on the issue of health equality in Africa. You can read the full piece here.
We left the meeting and headed for a brief meeting with Dr Simon Rushton, development expert with a passion for global health. Over some of Sheffield’s finest cask ales we discussed the film, the work of the department and the issue of TB in mining. Dr Rushton is doing some important work in terms of establishing an interdisciplinary public health group of academics within the university. He was enthusiastic about the need for increased advocacy from researchers and spoke of the challenges to building stronger relationships between academia and policy.
This was followed directly by the evening’s screening, and the team headed over to the Arts Tower. The screening was attended by around 50 people, including members of both of the RESULTS Sheffield groups, Sheffield Medsin and the Sheffield Institute for International Development.
Day 5: Norwich
‘Super Tuesday’ as we have been calling today has finally come around! Without doubt our busiest day of the tour thus far. Intrepid logistics manager Felix rose at 5.55am to go and collect the team car as the TGTD Team were due live on air in the BBC Radio Norfolk studios at 11.30 am…….even with the early start we were always up against the clock.
Bleary eyed and with a few grumpy words, the team gathered in the Nissan Quashqai and headed south east. Progress was smooth as the sun rose over the mills of Sheffield and we were making great ground. At 8.30am Jonathan had his first live radio spot of the tour, on Future Radio, an east of England station. The ten minute chat covered the making of the film, a (very) potted history of mining in the southern African region and the upcoming screening.
We arrived in the beautiful market town of Norwich at 10.45 am, just in time to go over out notes before going live to 200,000 people across England’s most Eastern county.
A great text came in from Mark Pointer of our Norwich group reminding us the three golden rules of radio:
1. Smile and your warmth will come through
2. Keep it simple! Radio loves a good soundbite
3. Be passionate and engage with the listeners.
These tips provided some much needed focus as a nervous Jonathan and Felix headed to the studio. However, all fears proved to be unfounded and the interview with Nick Conrad went off without a hitch. You can listen again to the clip here.
Perhaps the most poignant issue of the session was what Nick Conrad referred to as the ‘Daily Mail’ question: Why should we care about the TB epidemic in the UK..? Felix handled the question eloquently pointing out that this issue is about human rights and that we all have a responsibility to fight against injustice. He also spoke about TB within the UK, mentioning how London has the most TB cases in the whole of Western Europe with the UK, as a whole, experiencing 9,000 new cases each year!
The evening's screening was a big hit with over 80 attendees thanks to the excellent help in organising and publicising the event by Mark and Ann-Marie from the RESULTS' Norwich group, Medsin and the UEA Infectious Diseases and Pathology Society.
Day 6: Cambridge
We awoke to a snowy morning in Norwich and after a round of Weetabix, the TGTD-TEAM set off for Cambridge. The car journey was an informative one, Felix gave Saoirse and Jonathan a refresher course on advocacy and Jonathan spoke about the issues of third party labour contractors in the mining industry.
Finally we arrived in Cambridge and were met in the town centre by Medsin's Amina and RESULTS' Stort Valley group member Gill and quickly sort shelter from the ensuing snow storm. Looking out on the blizzard from the cozy interior of a coffee shop it seemed that any outside campaigning was out of the question. We decided that the best call of action was to go round to each of the University's individual colleges and leave flyers and action cards in the Porter's lodges.
Cambridge team leader Aji and member Raj had done a great job on organising the event and the lecture theatre was packed full of Cambridge medical students amongst others. The Q and A session after the screening had some particularly interesting questions from the medical crowd over the HIV/TB co-epidemic and the challenges to tracking down ex-mine workers who have previously contracted TB. Jonathan is currently working on this geo-spatial mapping and we eagerly await his findings.
Another university tomorrow, this time Warwick, off to bed!