You may remember that May saw the launch of our Small Acorns Fund, a grant programme for small projects suggested by members of staff at The National.

The results are in – and of the seventeen individuals who applied, we were delighted to award over £25,000 to six innovative and life-changing proposals. The successful projects focus on improving the lives of people at The National, whether that’s through pieces of specialist equipment, training for staff or rehabilitation programmes.

One of the recipients is a Mindfulness Training Programme, proposed by physiotherapist, Diarmuid Denneny. This programme will support staff at the Pain Management Centre to help patients living with neuropathic pain. When we told Diarmuid the application had been successful, his response was one of delight: “Oh WOW! This really has made my month!!”

Clinical nurse specialist, Colette Haslam also received full funding for the Sexual Dysfunction Training which will establish the first clinic service for female patients at the hospital. As one patient said of this project “it will normalise the situation for people who, like me, secretly think it’s ruining their relationship, and hopefully lead to some solutions”.

Other successful projects include an information video for a Deaf British Sign Language programme, a continuous glucose monitoring system and a bike for post-op mobility and exercise. Katy, who proposed the BSL video, said “WOW!!! Thank you so much. We’re all really excited about this project”. Charlotte Ellerton who had applied for the glucose monitoring system wrote “Thank you so much – I am thrilled!  This is fantastic news, and I (and our unit) really appreciate the support with funding!”

Five of the six projects were awarded the full funding which ranged between £500 and £5000. Nick Ward, Reader in Clinical Neurology received part funding for the Saebo Treatment Kit, a piece of equipment that assesses and treats upper limb impairment in stroke patients. The remainder of the amount required will be covered by UCLH Friends.

We’ll be receiving an update on the projects in six months time so will be sure to update you with their fantastic progress.