My Charity Story: Corné

“We could go to the conference not having to worry about the financial burden on us.”

Corné Rossouw is a Senior Occupational Therapist working in the community. She was invited to present at the 2017 World Conference for Physical Therapy Congress in Cape Town to showcase her team's award-winning falls prevention service. She was keen to go, despite the daunting prospect she might have to pay for the trip herself. Luckily she came across our Individual Staff Awards.

Tell us about the service you provide

We organise exercise programmes in the community, for people at low-level risk of falls. They might have already had a fall, or feel anxious about the possibility of a fall happening. We work with exercise instructors to help them understand the kinds of exercises that help prevent falls. Our service helps save time and money as clients can self-refer and don’t need to wait for a for a GP referral.

What was the opportunity and what did you want to achieve?

When we found out we had the chance to present at the conference, we were really excited. We really wanted to show everyone how proud we are of what we do, and how much work and effort our team has put into our job. In the NHS, we don’t always get to boast about what we do. Even though we really should when we do something good.

What was your experience of applying?

Attending the conference itself was going to be quite expensive. We started to think, how would we pay to go to South Africa? How much would accommodation be? Knowing the current budget of the NHS, we thought it was very unlikely we’d get the costs covered for a study opportunity like this. Then a manager asked if we had tried Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. We hadn’t, so we thought we’d try it.

"The feedback was quick, the turnaround was amazing and the communication was great. We received a grant which covered all our expenses, taking away any financial worries about going to the conference." 

Once we got confirmation of the support, we could just focus on bringing back important lessons for our clients to benefit from, and representing the Trust on an international platform. After the presentation, we had healthcare professionals from all over the world asking to meet us to hear more about what we’d achieved, so they could learn from us.

Why should other colleagues at the Trust apply for support?

The process was so straightforward. The feedback was quick, the turnaround was amazing and the communication was great. We were continuously supported throughout, so we knew exactly what we needed to do. The Charity are really open to hear about your ideas and will find a way to support it.

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