Meet the Essex nurse who inspired Band Aid

Published: 10 January 2012 at 13:11

Dame Claire Bertschinger to deliver free talk at Anglia Ruskin in Chelmsford

Untitled Page

The woman who inspired Band Aid, Dame Claire Bertschinger, will be talking about her experiences in Ethiopia at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford on Friday, 20 January (6.30pm).

The Essex nurse was interviewed by the BBC while providing famine relief for the International Red Cross in Mek’ele, Ethiopia, in 1984, and the powerful news footage triggered Sir Bob Geldof to launch Band Aid and stage the subsequent Live Aid concerts.

Claire began her nursing career in the UK and in addition to Ethiopia, her work has taken her to Afghanistan, Kenya, Lebanon, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and Liberia.

She was awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal in recognition of her work in conflict situations and has subsequently received the Woman of the Year Award, the Window to the World Award, and the Human Rights and Nursing Award.  Claire was made a Dame in the 2009 New Year Honours List for services to Nursing and to International Humanitarian Aid.

Claire’s talk will be based on her acclaimed autobiography, Moving Mountains (Transworld, 2005), and is part of the Gandhi-King-Ikeda Peacebuilders exhibition on display in Chelmsford Library from 16-27 January.  The exhibition focuses on three extraordinary men – Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Daisaku Ikeda – who dedicated their own lives to improve the lives of others.

The free talk, which is taking place on Anglia Ruskin’s Chelmsford campus, will be followed by a 20-minute Q&A session and a drinks reception.  To book your place, visit  or phone Rachel Moss on 0845 196 4723.