Late last year we launched our ground-breaking Change the World Fund. The initiative offered a £5,000 grant along with specialist mentorship, to give students the opportunity to affect real change on key issues across the globe. The innovative and passionate ideas we received were truly outstanding. Today we’re talking to Change the World Fund finalist and BPC student Amber Turner to discuss her idea and the positive impact it could have on the world.
I chose to study at ULaw because of the choice of campuses, scholarship opportunities and the use of selection events for the BPC. My career ambition is to become a barrister.
The Left to Starve campaign was founded by Jasmine Turner in May 2020 and aims to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by young women suffering from gastrointestinal issues in the healthcare system. This includes conditions such as gastroparesis which is effectively paralysis of the stomach and affects the ability to take in healthy levels of nutrition and hydration. The condition results in the need for close management of nutritional intake and the use of feeding tubes in some cases. However; as gastroparesis predominantly affects women, it is common for doctors to misdiagnose the symptoms as eating disorders. Treatment can be inconsistent, inadequate and inhumane. We are aware of at least one case where a young woman died after being denied nutrition for too long. We are lobbying the government and bodies like the National Institute for Clinical Excellence to introduce a national framework for the treatment of gastroparesis and similar conditions, as well as requiring more frequent check-ups and multi-disciplinary treatment teams. Our aim is to ensure that no more young women lose their lives in this way. Alongside these institutional changes, we hope to become a registered charity in the near future and provide support to affected individuals.
My sister has been personally affected by these issues so it is very close to our hearts. The Changes the World Fund seemed like too good of an opportunity to miss out on. I am not aware of other competitions which allow you to win money for a charitable cause, especially one which is in its early stages like ours.
We were very pleased to be selected as finalists in the Change the World competition and to have the opportunity to present the campaign to new people for the first time. To get advice from the panellists was also very helpful as we move forward with the campaign.
As I am training to become a barrister, one of the core skills we are taught is advocacy; I really felt this was helpful in making the pitch to the panel. It helped me to be more confident and feel comfortable answering questions; as if they were judicial interventions.
I am passionate about change in this particular area because of personal experience bringing it to my attention, and wanting to make a difference to the lives of people who may be going through similar things. I wanted to study law initially because I think the law has so much power to bring about good in the world. I think it is really important that people who cannot represent themselves have access to lawyers who can ensure that their rights are respected and enforced. I am undertaking pro bono work with the Nottingham Pro Bono Team and when I move into practice I hope that the type of cases I will be working on will make a positive difference to the individuals affected.
Do you share Amber’s dream of becoming a barrister? Discover more about studying the BPC now.