Meet the students who created five donation boxes for charity

"Design is something that I have always wanted to do, making a product or designing a product. My family are involved with design; we are very creative. I wanted to certify it and go into design in the future,” says William Shaw.
Along with Mark Hedley; William, a third year undergraduate studying BA (Hons) 3D Design at Plymouth University was approached by the University to create five donation boxes for Brain Tumour Research and the Derriford Research Facility.

“It was such an amazing opportunity to create these donation boxes for such a fantastic cause. It teaches you real life design skills and it teaches you how to interact with your client, you have real world experience that you can actually gain for yourself, and it is so valuable. I would recommend it to anyone, it was eye opening and very educational.”

The donation boxes have a unique structure and design to them, which the students came up with entirely on their own. 

“We were looking at manufacture efficiency, which was the aim of the design, to make it quick and easy to construct and making it as economically efficient as possible. We also really tried to consider all eventualities.”

To celebrate the hard work from the students, a special unveiling event was held at the Plymouth University Peninsula School Medicine and Dentistry at the John Bull building, after a lab tour. A lab tour gives the public a rare view of the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Plymouth University and a chance to meet the scientists undertaking world-leading research into low-grade brain tumours and pioneering non-invasive treatments. It is also an opportunity to place a tile on the Wall of Hope, a permanent recognition of the funds raised through the efforts of the charity’s supporters.

“The best part of this project was going on the lab tour. I would recommend the tour to anyone, it was eye opening. Seeing everyone being appreciated for their hard work with raising enough money to run the Centre for just one day was astounding. The people who were getting their tiles on The Wall of Hope and seeing the pride and appreciation people have for that was really great.”

Mark added: “I think having a Centre of Excellence for Brain Tumour Research in Plymouth is great for the city, especially with having Derriford Hospital right next door. They can get samples straight from the hospital to help them develop new treatments. Engaging with bio-medical students and graduates means there is potential to develop something that could be a break through.”

William and Mark aspire to do great things with a career in design.William Shaw says: “I am aiming for the opportunity to become a designer in an established London design consultancy.”

This project has meant a lot to the students, they are so proud of the work they have achieved, and the great cause the money raised through their donation boxes will go to.

Mark added: "This has been an immensely satisfying project. It’s been great to work on a design that will have a tangible effect, for a cause that needs support. This project is by far the most impactful I have had the joy of working on." 

Will concluded: "It’s been really beneficial to design and work on a project that is going to be in the public eye. It feels great doing work for a really good cause. The tour really educated us in Brain Tumour Research, and the amazing work they are doing at the centre at Plymouth University."

Find out more information on the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Plymouth University.

Lab tours

Throughout the year we host a series of research laboratory tours. It's an opportunity to see the labs and ask questions to the scientists who undertake our world-leading research.

Visitors will be looked after by our regional Brain Tumour Research representative and shown the ‘Wall of Hope’, created to celebrate those who help fund the research, recognised by personalised plaques and significant dates. Each plaque represents £2,740 raised – which is the running cost per day of the laboratories.

Whether you are already a fundraiser or would like to be, or just have an interest in the amazing research that happens here, please get in touch to book a place on a tour. 

View the scheduled lab tours for this year.

Watch our video about our lab tours.