At the present time there are 1.2 million people living with the effects of stroke in the UK. This number is likely to increase as the population is living longer and the majority of strokes tend to occur in people over the age of 65 years.
Circumstances are such that good and continuous rehabilitation care for stroke survivors within the NHS, Community and Social Services ceases after 3 months and long term care and support falls well short of the needs of some stroke survivors. Good quality robust research is required to provide evidence that rehabilitation is vital to good recovery and outcomes in order to strengthen service provision in this field. Ergo there is a need for a greater of highly qualified researchers to enable such evidence to be furnished and to help establish better and more economic services for stroke patients and their families.
Our strategy therefore is to create a Foundation which will develop and sustain an organisation capable of contributing strongly to the field of academic research particularly stroke rehabilitation research, working closely with the University of Nottingham.
It is our view that there is a gap in the provision of appropriate opportunities for highly qualified graduates who have an interest in stroke research and wish to qualify to doctoral level. This, together with a real need for more highly qualified researchers has been the principal driver in our wish to create this Foundation. The success of this venture and the new research which will follow will provide benefits for future stroke patients and their families, as well as to the public at large.
- To add to and extend educational resource at the University by attracting the highest quality graduates to study for Doctoral Degrees principally in the specialism of stroke rehabilitation.
- To provide sponsorship for a PhD student each year in the field of stroke rehabilitation research.
- In practice this will mean securing one graduate student each year for the first three years following the provision of sufficient funds to enable this to happen as quickly as possible after the launch of the Foundations in 2016.
- The aim is to provide total funding for the first Foundation PhD student in the third year following the launch, or sooner if sufficient funds are available.
- To sponsor each PhD will require funding amounting to £20,000 per annum over a period of three years. A total of £60,000 in all for each Doctorate.
- It is not practical to provide sponsorship for one student alone; provision must be made to provide for a second student in the second year and a third in the third year. Ideally funding permitting, to continue such a procedure year upon year, thus enabling continuity of the process into the future.
- Funding totalling £180,000 will be required to sponsor the first three PhD students.
- The funding target has been set at £200,000 to be raised as quickly as possible.
- Our long term ambition is to continue the Foundation’s work year on year going forward.
How will the Funding be generated?
- By every means legally possible!
- To include, but not necessarily be limited to the following:Individual gifts and donations; fund raising events, bequests and gifts, business and commercial sponsorships, grants from Government and Public Bodies, the University itself and other Trusts.
- It is the intention to receive such funds and donations generated via an online donation facility on our website and through other virtual or non-virtual channels.
Organisation and Leadership
The Foundation has gathered together a small group of highly qualified and skilled people who possess broad and complimentary experience, to lead and manage the strategy and objectives of the organisation within the guidelines outlined in the organisation’s Governing Document. This group comprises the seven Trustees of the Foundation and their profiles are detailed on the Foundation’s website.
The Organisation’s founder has discussed the idea of the Foundation with academic and business colleagues, friends and family members over a period of 10 months and the idea has been supported and developed using their input and feedback to arrive at the current position. Everyone who has been approached believe that such a scheme will be of great benefit to large numbers of people and to the community at large and are keen to see the Foundation launched as a Registered Charity, as soon as practical.
The principal stakeholders in the venture will be the Foundation itself with the University of Nottingham Medical School, particularly the Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing. The Foundation’s management team and individual Professors and Senior Researchers, as well as existing PhD students within the Doctoral Centre of the University have been consulted, all without exception are keen and enthusiastic to see this venture succeed and have committed their support to it. Much more to the point the Foundation has the support of the Vice-Chancellor of the University himself, who has written the introduction to the Foundation’s website home page. In partnership we have also produced a short film which features on the homepage of our website.
It is the intention that the Foundation will be officially and formally launched during 2016 and that fundraising will begin as soon as this has happened. Subject to his availability the Vice-Chancellor will preside at the launch of the Foundation at an event within the University sometime during 2016.
Evaluation and Maintenance
The Trustees will meet as often as is necessary to efficiently conduct the business of the Foundation in accordance with its Governing Document.
Once or twice a year Trustees will meet with members of the University in order to interview and select a candidate to undertake a PhD as agreed and described elsewhere, who will be granted a stipend from the Foundation to cover the cost of this higher degree.
When sufficient funding has been obtained to fund the first three PhD graduates and they have completed their degrees, and new research in stroke rehabilitation is available, has been published, and is available to the public at large and on the Foundation’s website, then the Foundation will have delivered its initial strategy and objectives to become established in accordance with the Founder’s original idea.
Dr Ossie Newell