Meet Our Volunteers Although times are difficult right now and we aren’t able to see our fantastic volunteers as we would normally do, it doesn't stop us sharing how each and every one of them help to make a big difference to how we are able to fundraise and support life changing research into Spinal Cord Injury. In 2019, Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research and the National Spinal Injuries Centre, launched the Crafty Neurons Campaign to raise funds and awareness of the quality-of-life issues affecting spinal cord injury and paralysis. Supporters were invited to ‘knit a neuron’ for a creative spinal cord to go on public display at the Centre to reflect the importance of quality-of-life research in spinal cord injury To get involved in Crafty Neurons, or to volunteer for us in any other way, please send your details to [email protected] Meet Fundraising Volunteer, Michaela Matza, from Amersham, who gave up her time to put her creative talents to good use in support of our ‘Crafty Neurons’ project in partnership with the National Spinal Injuries Unit. How did you get involved with Crafty Neurons? A friend in my knitting group, Sarah Dunham, is a nurse at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and she passed the details on to everyone in our group, so I decided to support the project. How long does it take to knit a neuron? I don't remember it taking very long. Two to three hours probably. Had you heard about the work of Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research before you got involved in Crafty Neurons? Yes, I had as some years ago I worked for Bucks Disability Information Network and so I used to go to visit and attend various meetings at Stoke Mandeville as part of my job so got to know what was happening in the hospital. Why do you think it's important to support local charities, particularly in the current climate? I have always supported local charities, both as a volunteer and an employee, as I feel they do such an amazing job in our community and I very much believe in helping local people. Of course, in the current climate, it is even more important, and I have signed up to help volunteering schemes set up this year both nationally, locally and in an independent capacity helping elderly friends and neighbours. What do you find most fun about volunteering? I enjoy knitting so it was an interesting way of helping to draw attention to a worthwhile project and I have never knitted anything like a neuron before! It certainly drew lots of comments when people saw what I was doing! Meet Eileen, who has also been supporting us with her CRAFTY creations! How did you get involved in Crafty Neurons? I received an email as I am coordinator of the Knitting Group of the Chiltern U3A. Living locally, I have been aware of Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research for a long time especially as it is well-known worldwide. Creating the neurons was a novel idea which inspired me to support such a good cause. It feels good to make a difference locally, this means more to me. “I’m sure the Crafty Neurons are eye catching in the entrance to the National Spinal Injuries Centre. They must lift the spirits of patients.” Thank you Michaela, Eileen, and all those involved in our Crafty Neurons campaign for your wonderful support.