The Friends of the Stroke Unit fund is still up and running!
Founded by Honorary Alderman Paul Brandon in 2005, a former patient of the QEH, The Friends of the Stroke Unit fund was designed to allow patients to give something back to the hospital that cared for them.
The original fundraising committee had dispersed, however all responsibility of the charity has been transferred to the hospital, and is currently being supported after by a small group of 6 wonderful people.
The team is made up of two QEH nurses, 2 QEH therapists and 2 ex-patients/family members, who meet regularly to discuss how to spend the funds in the best way to improve patient recovery. They arrange fundraising opportunities and liaise with patients and their families who are interested in raising funds for the ward.
Suzy Butler, Specialist Occupational Therapist, said: “The idea of the Friends of the Stroke Unit Fund is to pay for things that go beyond what the hospital and the NHS can provide. We strive to enhance stroke recovery with additional equipment and therapy treatments which benefit the patient and their families.”
The fund has already paid for a renovation of the day room, specialist “tilt-in-space” chairs, renovated a bathroom and lots of other small and practical therapy equipment.
The funds can also go towards paying for bespoke and specialist training for staff to enhance stroke specialist skills, in addition to the mandatory training provided by the hospital.
Suzy said: “For the day room, we wanted to make it feel less clinical and a more inviting place for patients and their visitors. It’s important for patients to sit somewhere else rather than their bedside and to be able to sit with family in a more social environment. The furniture provided makes the space more relaxed and ‘less clinical’ for everyone to enjoy.”
Patients and their families are able to raise funds knowing that every penny raised is reinvested back into the stroke ward.
Patient representative, Mick Ennis, joined the Friends of the Stroke Unit committee after his wife was treated by the QEH stroke team.
Mick is very proud to be part of the committee. He said: “We have organised multiple fundraising events, such as an Olympic Torch run through local villages and an annual beach run. We were also named “Bespak Charity of the Year 2016-17.”
The next challenge for the committee is restarting the annual beach run. Held around June time, runners can take part in a 5k or 10k charity run along Hunstanton beach towards Heacham, to raise valuable funds for the stroke unit.
The Friends of the Stroke Unit are looking for support and volunteers to help run fundraising events, big or small. If you are interested, please contact Suzy Butler via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FOTSU are able to support any patients and their families with ideas for fundraising or accepting donation via the FOTSU Facebook page or telephone 01553 613287.
Pictured: FOTSU logo and members of West Raynham Stroke Team
To download the press release and photos, click here.