This past week Flóra and Nick have been rubbing shoulders with nobility at the House of Lords and candle-lit dinners.
Last Tuesday, Nick and I attended a reception held at the House of Lords, honouring the 2014 Sanofi Patient Group Bursary Scheme Winners. Over delicious cakes and tea, we were able to speak with past winners of the scheme, as well as several Baronesses who formed the judging committee. It was inspirational to hear from previous winners, such as Ataxia UK and Anaphylaxis Campaign, about the support systems they were able to put into place for patients around the country. This year we were fortunate to win Sanofi’s Bronze Award for small charities, allowing us to launch a peer mentoring scheme for fundamental disease patient groups. It is my hope that in a year’s time, our story will be as inspirational for the next round of winners.
This past Thursday saw us holding an intimate dinner with Dame Stephanie Shirley, one of Britain’s leading businesswomen and healthcare philanthropists, at Jerwood Spaces. Dame Stephanie gave an insightful presentation on her past and the need for philanthropic support in healthcare. Along with 14 other guests, we spent the evening discussing plans and strategies for developing Findacure’s drug repositioning programme for fundamental diseases.
In keeping with our (now) Tuesday tradition, Nick and I were back at the House of Lords this week to meet with the Countess of Mar, along with one of our Scientific Advisory Board member, Oliver Timmis. After lunch with the Countess, we attended a meeting of her organisation Forward-ME, which seeks to promote effective joint working by ME and CFS organisations to maximise impact on behalf of all people living with the conditions in the UK. Nick, Oliver, and I presented the Findacure story and had a general discussion with the Forward-ME members about the support we could provide them.
It has been a whirlwind week, with overwhelming support for Findacure from all parties. It is a very promising close to the year of 2014.