Former England Rugby League player and the first British Asian Muslim to represent England at either rugby code Dr Ikram Butt – has pledged to raise funds for One Family’s Emergency Care Fund. The UK charity’s emergency fund comprises several key initiatives, including the development of a Frontline Care Box scheme for hospitals across the country.

The care boxes, conceptualised by junior doctor Marissa Lewis, aim to provide a little respite to medical staff, who continue to work tirelessly during this unprecedented crisis. Each box contains revitalising essentials such as an eye mask, socks, ear plugs, lip balm, hand moisturiser, mouthwash, glucose tablets, energy-boosting sweet treats and an assortment of other refreshments.

As an ambassador of One Family, Dr Butt has been particularly taken by the scheme, and has been at the helm of working with volunteers, as well as the distribution of care boxes. He said of his work with One Family: “It’s been a real privilege to help coordinate such a positive and heartfelt initiative. Dozens of boxes have already been packed and distributed across hospitals in London, and having taken part in these delivery runs, it’s been incredibly humbling and moving to see how well the boxes are being received by staff so far”. 

The former athlete created history by becoming the first British Asian to represent England at either code of Rugby during the 1995 European Championships.

He continued: “Being part of this initiative gives us all the chance to show how grateful we are for the love, compassion, and selflessness of those on the frontline. So, I’m eager to get fundraising for this essential cause”.

One Family chairman, Sharif Banna MBE, added: “Our Frontline Care Box scheme has grown exponentially in just a few short weeks. What was initially an act of comradery from one doctor to another, has grown to become a valued necessity for medical staff across the country. Through partnerships with major brands including RB – the parent company of E45, Scholl & Lemsip – we have been able to carefully select quality products to provide some respite to our frontline staff”.

He added: “We are also thrilled to have Ikram’s support on this necessary initiative. We are seeing first-hand the positive effect these care boxes are having, and Ikram has really led the charge where our volunteers and distribution is concerned”. 

For more information or to donate: https://www.onefamily.org.uk/ikrambutt