Elizabeth Kornat became a Trustee of the charity in 2010. Though she describes herself as new to this role “learning as I go along”, she has been instrumental in helping to support our Small Acorns Fund . We wanted to learn more about Elizabeth’s role and why TNBA is so important to her…
Q. How did you become a trustee?
A. The National Hospital is very dear to my heart as I am a patient here. I had returned to the UK after living in Hong Kong for a few years, wanted to get more involved in volunteering during my spare time and wanted to do as much as possible to help fundraise. Theresa asked me if I would be interested in becoming a trustee, which was a real surprise
Q. What does your role as trustee entail?
I am one of thirteen trustees. We are the people responsible for the general control and management of the administration of the charity. Trustees must direct the affairs of a charity, ensuring that it is solvent, well-run and that it delivers the outcomes for which the charity has been set up. This means that as a committee we also consider how to apply the funds raised for The National Brain Appeal in the most resourceful way.
Q. Please tell us about your involvement in the launch of the Small Acorns Fund and why you think it’s such an important campaign.
A. Since 1984, The National Brain Appeal has raised nearly £40 million for the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. Mostly, the charity has supported major appeals, such as The Molly Lane Fox Unit and the Pain Management Centre.
Increasingly, we’ve seen the need to fund smaller scale projects and so the Small Acorns Fund was launched in May 2013. The aim is to make grants from £500 up to £5,000 available for new projects within The National, whether that’s to improve patient care, provide a new item of equipment, or increase staff training and development.
The whole idea is to get all staff at the NHNN involved and to make Small Acorns as accessible a resource as possible. The name ‘Small Acorns’ truly embodies our belief that every individual donation, however small, will have a very real impact on patient care in the hospital.
Q. why do you think The National Brain Appeal is so important?
A. My answer to this question is very personal. I have no doubt that the treatment I have received at the NHNN since 1996 has enabled me to live a full and healthy life. I had a brain haemorrhage and have had six glue embolisation operations and two courses of gamma knife surgery over the years.
Some of the procedures were carried out at GreatOrmondStreetHospital because the equipment was designed for tiny brains (what does that say about mine?!) and the gamma knife surgery was first carried out in Sheffield.
Now, thanks to huge investment and development, the NHNN can offer all these procedures on site. In the space of a decade, The National Brain Appeal has made this progress possible. That is why the charity is so important to me and I’m sure there are hundreds of people with similar stories. The NHNN is an amazing hospital and The National Brain Appeal is a wonderful charity that I am honoured to support.