‘Tis the season: colleagues volunteering over Christmas holidays

School of Pharmacy staff member helping to provide a warm space for the homeless

Person experiencing homelessness sat on a small box on the pavement of a city street with a sign asking for donations

Parbir Jagpal from the School of Pharmacy will be helping people experiencing homeless to have a warm place to sleep over the Christmas period

Staff from the University of Birmingham will be spreading Christmas cheer during the closure period helping people in need.

Among the many volunteer hours that staff and students will be taking part in, Mrs Parbir Jagpal from the School of Pharmacy will this year be helping at a centre being set up by housing charity Shelter.

Parbir is the Director of Prescribing at the School of Pharmacy, University of Birmingham and Chair of the Race Equality Committee, Deputy EDI lead for the Medical and Dental School and has worked on a number of EDI projects at college and university level. Already recognised in the Queen's birthday honours list 2020, Parbir was awarded a 'British Empire Medal' (BEM) for services to diversity and inclusion.

A profile picture of Mrs Parbir Jagpal

Parbir Jagpal, whose research also includes work on providing pharmacy support for people experiencing homelessness

Motivated by her research looking at developing pharmacy and prescribing related healthcare services for persons experiencing homelessness, Parbir will be doing shifts at St Catherine of Siena Catholic Primary School in central Birmingham.

Parbir said: “I’ve been wanting to volunteer at Christmas for a number of years. It’s a time of year when persons experiencing homelessness may feel the struggle more intensely as the world around is celebrating and spending time with family and friends.

Volunteering .... provides support over this period so that guests can experience joy, safety and company during that time

Parbir Jagbal

“Volunteering at Shelter provides support over this period so that guests can experience joy, safety and company during that time. It also helps Shelter to engage with guests to consider providing further support to meet immediate and longer-term needs.

“I have a keen interest professionally and personally in equality, diversity, inclusion, social justice and health inequalities. I have been a practicing pharmacist for 30 years and have a breadth of experience working in primary care for the last 22 years in diverse communities with varying needs.”

Notes for editors

  • For media enquiries please contact Tim Mayo, Press Office, University of Birmingham, tel: +44 (0)7920 405040
  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers and more than 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.
  • The University of Birmingham is a founding member of Birmingham Health Partners (BHP), a strategic alliance which transcends organisational boundaries to rapidly translate healthcare research findings into new diagnostics, drugs and devices for patients. Birmingham Health Partners is a strategic alliance between seven organisations who collaborate to bring healthcare innovations through to clinical application:
    • University of Birmingham
    • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
    • Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    • Aston University
    • The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
    • Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
    • West Midlands Academic Health Science Network