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  • Writer's pictureNERVS

60 Seconds With........

Welcome to our new feature were we will ask various volunteers from the group a series of quick fire questions.

This month we will start with our Chairman and Founder Neil Powers.

1. What inspired you to start up NERVS?

My wife Kate had Breast Cancer in 2007 and received a massive amount of care and treatment from the staff at NHS Grampian. She then developed a rare Auto Immune condition called Dermatomyositis which required a trip to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary every nine weeks for an infusion of quite nasty drugs, this required even more care and support from the already very busy Doctors and Nurses on ward 110.

Some of the group already know that in March 2017 I suffered a heart attack and was in ARI for six weeks, the care I received from all of the staff was exemplary.  I knew of Blood Bikes from a friend in Norfolk and was determined to set a group up to cover the Grampian area, my way of saying a huge thankyou to the NHS in our area.

2. Describe your NERVS role to us. Ensuring that the Board of Trustees functions correctly. To plan and run meetings in accordance to the governing document. To ensure matters are dealt with in an orderly, efficient manner. To bring impartiality and objectivity to meetings and decision-making. To facilitate change and address conflict within the board. To review governance performance and skills. To plan for recruitment and renewal of the Board. Ensure the organisation is managed effectively

To liaise with the chief officer, as appropriate, to keep an overview of the organisation’s affairs. To co-ordinate the committee to ensure responsibilities for particular aspects of management (e.g. personnel matters, financial control etc) are met and specialist expertise is employed as required. To facilitate change and address conflict within the organisation. Provide support and supervision to staff To directly line manage the senior staff member of the organisation. To sit on appointment and final appeal grievance panels, as appropriate. Represent the organisation To communicate effectively the vision and purpose of the organisation. To advocate for and represent the organisation at external meetings and events. To be aware of current issues that might affect the organisation. 3. What are your key priorities for the group in the next 12 months? To ensure that we continue to operate as efficiently as possible and encourage more of our Volunteers to take an active part in finding and establishing contact with vital fundraising events for NERVS as well as streamlining more of our policies and procedures, particularly for new Volunteers joining the group. 4. Your favourite book/movie or TV series of all time and why? ‘King Rat’ is a 1962 novel by James Clavell and the author's literary debut. Set during World War II, the novel describes the struggle for survival of American, Australian, British, Dutch, and New Zealander prisoners of war in a Japanese camp in Singapore—a description informed by Clavell's own three-year experience as a prisoner in the notorious Changi Prison camp.

My Grandpa was based in Singapore with the Royal Air Force and lived in Married Quarters in Changi where the prison camp used to be.  My Dad during his time in the Oil and Gas industry travelled to Singapore and revisited Changi and the places he used to play as a child. 5. They say everyone has a book in them.  What would your book be about? My book would be about making things out of whatever stuff you have available in order to make a solution work.  Making a square peg fit in a round hole. 6. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why? Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader, CBE, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar, DL, FRAeS.

Bader joined the RAF in 1928, and was commissioned in 1930. In December 1931, while attempting some aerobatics, he crashed and lost both his legs. Having been on the brink of death, he recovered, retook flight training, passed his check flights and then requested reactivation as a pilot. Although there were no regulations applicable to his situation, he was retired against his will on medical grounds.  After the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, however, Douglas Bader returned to the RAF and was accepted as a pilot.

My Grandad was a Royal Air Force Pilot during WWII and it was both my Grandfathers that prompted me to join the RAF, Douglas Bader sheer determination to fly again despite the horrific loss of both his legs was an inspiration on many an occasion when I thought of quitting doing something that seemed would never end. Bader also flew Spitfires and Hurricanes which my Grandad flew many times as well……two of my favorite historical aircraft. 7. What’s the best thing to happen to you this week? Well it was actually last week, Wednesday 22nd May 2019.  After passing my I.A.M motorcycle test 25 years ago I decided to retake it, I passed. 8. What do you see as the challenges ahead for you and the group? The biggest challenge I see is encouraging more of our group Volunteers to get more engaged.  With over 160 people from all walks of life in the group we actually haven’t heard from some of them since we started.

I have always said the beauty of being in a voluntary organisation is that you can put as much or as little as your personal circumstances allow, so come on people let’s get the Fundraising ball well and truly rolling this year, you can all recommend things to the ‘Board’ to see if the event is worth attending and we will get in touch with the organisers to arrange NERVS attendance.

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