HOPE Foundation News March 2015
To be a researcher one needs to have numerous qualities. These are much the same for those who support research.
One needs opportunity and encouragement. Nurturing an enquiring mind and giving a young student an early taste of research may start them on their research journey. Our summer studentships do this and we have just heard the presentations from two enthusiastic young people at our combined presentation session with the New Zealand Association of Gerontology.
For our donors these scholarships also give an opportunity for an affordable contribution and a meaningful glimpse into what can be achieved. The recommendations from this years students will meaningfully improve the lives of older people having treatment for cancer and entering residential care.
Secondly one needs tenacity. It is rare for a researcher to have a major “Eureka” moment in their careers. One has an idea, then tests it, proves it wrong, but in that process generates more ideas. Proving something does not work is equally valid as the big new breakthrough. However researchers need to be tenacious as the funding for research is variable, contestable and hard to get. Not only because the research dollar is unevenly spread. If you are working in one of the less “sexy areas” or “emotionally appealing” areas it is even harder.
Ageing research is one of these areas, and yet the need is very high. Not only that we will all age and are likely to benefit from innovations in this area. We hope you will continue to support us as we fund raise, support and advocate in this area.
You need to be in the game to make a difference and be prepared to continue on for a long time to see meaningful progress. Having good mentors is essential and our supporters and the Hope Foundation play a role here also.
You need to have the ability to collaborate and share ideas. Our partnership with the New Zealand Association of Gerontology and the Selwyn Foundation allows us to do more together than separately.
For our researchers we will be repeating the very successful knowledge exchange to allow them to develop new research collaborations.
I ask you to consider your networks and opportunities to engage others in our cause, where ever they may be in New Zealand. They might just need the opportunity and encouragement to help us in a shared vision to help prepare New Zealand for an ageing future.
You can also help by
- Spreading the word about what we do / share this newsletter
- Donating your time to the Friends Supporters to help with fundraising and committee work
- Encouraging your children and grandchildren to invest in their futures by donating time and money (a baby girl born today has a 1 in 3 chance of living to 100 , a boy 1 in 4 and is likely to be fitter and healthier–think about the implications of that)
- Consider a bequest