History of Ann Conroy Trust

The Trust has undergone a number of changes in the last few years and we all look forward to developing further the services that we provide to our members. It may, therefore, be timely for us to reflect upon how the charity came into being. Some of our members will recall these times but, increasingly, many will not.

When we renamed the charity "The Ann Conroy Trust" we did so because the old name "A.N.T.S." seemed outdated and not modern enough to attract new members and, equally importantly, financial support. We also felt that the new name honoured appropriately the memory of the founder of the charity.

The testimonial to Ann Conroy that follows was prepared by the late Bernard Williams, shortly after Ann's death. Not having known Ann myself, I can do no better than quote Bernard directly in this way. The picture that Bernard painted, with his own, characteristic honesty, was that of a strong-willed lady who was not prepared to let neurological disability prevent her from leading as active a life as possible. Her intent, it seems, was to help others do the same. My guess is that Ann would have approved of our current work. I think that she would have supported our philosophy of promoting hope and optimism, not despair and pessimism, amongst those who suffer from syringomyelia and related conditions.

I have underlined two sentences in the penultimate paragraph of Bernard's eulogy. The trust hopes to ensure that it is more than just the Birmingham clinic that goes on, which is why we are in the process of expanding our base to include other neurosurgical units in the UK. I am confident that we will achieve this but, whatever progress we make, I agree with Bernard that it will be "largely due to the efforts of Ann" in the first place.

Graham Flint