Soon you will have forgotten the world, and the world will have forgotten you.
As I contemplated reaching my 80th birthday and my retirement from my formal activities at the University of Nottingham, I was compelled to reflect upon my experience of being involved in stroke research and the development of stroke services across the Nation, but particularly in Nottingham over the 16 years since my own stroke occurred. This compulsion also led me to dwell a little on my own mortality and the limited time I have left for me to continue to influence those things relative to stroke that I hold dear and have worked hard to promote over these years.
In parallel with this there are other thoughts which serve to exercise my mind further, namely:
- The improvements in stroke care which have accrued since the National Strategy for Stroke was launch in December 2007.
- The brilliant stroke research work carried out within the University of Nottingham over several decades and as a result the excellent international reputation this has generated, particularly in the area of stroke rehabilitation research carried out under the direction of Professor Marion Walker and her staff within the School of Rehabilitation and Ageing.
- The innovative work and leadership provided through the Stroke Research Partnership Group @astroke to embed lay involvement into all stroke research projects over the past 11 years.
- And recently the establishment of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Rehabilitation and Health Care Research within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
This process led me to the conclusion that I wish to see the establishment of a Foundation which will gather all of this thinking together and provide a continuing link between the University’s Stroke Research; my family, my work and my name into the future, when I am no longer here, as well as assisting in the continuance and sustainability of the excellence achieved by Marion’s leadership and her department into the future.
The creation of a Foundation which will sponsor and support one doctoral post graduate student per year and perhaps provide some funding for stroke research too, would enable all of this to be pulled together to become a reality and a legacy for the future. So it is my wish, that with the help of family and friends, to set up as soon as is practical a Foundation Trust for the purpose described above.
Dr Ossie Newell MBE, Hon LLD. (written in June 2015)