Inspirational student doctor to carry baton for Commonwealth Games

A University of Liverpool medical student has been selected as a baton bearer for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The honour comes following a nomination from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for his contribution to charity.

Shantanu Kundu, 21, founded the Be Free Campaign, an award-winning mental health charity recognised by the Prime Minister and funded by the National Lottery and the Department for Health and Social Care.

The organisation provides counselling, mental health provisions and wellbeing programmes for schools and communities nationwide.

Shantanu has been previously recognised with the Diana Award and the Point of Light Award by Boris Johnson. In 2021, Shantanu went to Downing Street to meet Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid with a commitment to campaigning for mental healthcare improvements.

“I was very surprised to be put forward by the government for this opportunity. I have been passionate about standing up for our mental health because we need to recognise how important it is and make sure that we make strides in ensuring that it improves for as many people as possible. Never did I expect to be chosen to bear the baton for the commonwealth games and I feel it shows that trying your best to improve things will come back round in some way shape or form.

“I am really thankful to the Be Free Campaign team which is forever expanding. We are living in tough times with the rising cost of living, increasing pressures and worsening demands. However, people pull through. The amount of support we have had from the public, our hundreds of volunteers and our staff have been immense. This would not be possible without all of them,” said Shantanu.

The Queen’s Baton Relay returns to England this summer when the Queen’s Baton will be carried across the country by inspirational baton bearers, each with incredible stories.

Baton bearers have been selected in all nine regions of England and reflect the diversity in communities across the country.