Graduation day is soup-er for charity champion Russell

23 June 2022

A student who has helped some of his community’s most vulnerable citizens is preparing to take centre stage at the University of Dundee’s Graduation celebrations tomorrow.

Russell Chalmers, 26, first started working with Graham’s Kitchen after hearing about a shortage of volunteers. Russell was inspired to get a team of medics together to make a difference in the local community, working to cook batches of food every night for those in need.

Graham’s Kitchen has been running in the centre of Dundee for  15 years catering for a wide variety of people, many who are struggling with substance misuse and homelessness.

“Working with Graham’s Kitchen has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my time in Dundee,” said Russell. “It has been eye opening just how needed the service is in our community.

“With the cost of living crisis having such an impact on everyone’s lives at present it, there has been an increased turn out of service users attending Graham’s Kitchen in the past few months.

“A lot of the volunteers  were elderly and had stepped back due to the health concerns of being exposed to Covid-19 and as a result Graham’s Kitchen only had 2 teams running.

“One of the big advantages of being a student is that for your time at university you know quite a lot of people through your course, societies and DUSA. I got in touch as I thought I could probably get a team together quite easily. The team I coordinate is primarily made up of medics and we have been running our own team since October 2021.”

Russell will be crossing the stage in the Caird Hall tomorrow afternoon, Friday 24 June, 2:30pm. After graduation he is planning on beginning his foundation years at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey.

The University’s Graduation ceremonies take place at Caird Hall from 22-24 June. Thousands of 2020 and 2021 graduates will also return to Dundee from 28 June-1 July for special ceremonies in lieu of their original graduations, which were unable to be held in person due to Covid-19 restrictions.

More information on Graham’s Kitchen and the work being done can be found here.