09.09.16 It’s not just children returning to school who feel like September is the start of a new year – somehow there is a wider need to sharpen pencils and tidy desks. September is upon us and it’s a busy month. I’m just back from our Great Brompton Bake Off for which many staff and other Bromptonites submitted their best creations for judging, and then onward selling in aid of the hospital. Last year was amazing – the standard was fantastic. Dare I say it, this year was even better. Thank you to all of those who contributed and bought. Matthew from our Genetics Team was crowned star baker in the end, for his rather gory heart cake, complete with oozing strawberry jam. The Charity Hub ladies are still counting up the pounds, but so far it’s in the mid-hundreds. Each one will go towards expanding our Genetics Testing Service, which diagnoses individuals and families at risk of inherited diseases. This Sunday sees our 35th Harefield Fun Run & Family Day. And the weather forecast is looking good at the moment! For runners and walkers – both human and canine – this is a day of celebration, remembering and taking part. It’s a very moving day and a chance to say thank you to Harefield for the amazing care and treatment it provides. Don’t miss it. Online registrations are now closed, but you can come along and register on the day. As I write this, I am at the end of a day of meetings (catching up after the August holidays), which reminds me how well these hospitals are run, by truly dedicated directors and senior clinicians. I really enjoy hearing about all the operational ins and outs, and our meetings are never boring. There are always new breakthroughs, occasionally hiccoughs and sometimes tense moments. But it’s good to end the day, and the week, knowing that our Charity has been part of something life-changing for many people – patients, their families and the staff who look after them. I couldn’t be a clinician – I faint at the sight of blood. But via the charity, I can feel connected with the fantastic work that goes on here. And, reader, so can you.