To many of us who have lived in Budapest for a number of years, Paul Mizener needs no introduction. Formerly chef at Budapest’s only Scottish bar The Caledonia shortly after he arrived in Hungary, Paul is now well established as a professional chef at Chefparade, Hungary’s largest cooking school (and the culinary experts behind the RBIF’s Summer BBQ!).

“Having lived in Hungary for 10 years, I wanted to give something back to the community, and after speaking with the RBIF and Chefparade, where I had worked for the past 8 years, we came up with the idea of a testimonial dinner”, says Paul, explaining where the idea for our joint project came from.

For health reasons, Paul’s oldest daughter is a regular visitor to the Bethesda Hospital, which became the obvious choice for the fundraiser. After speaking with Dr Rita Jakus, head of the neurology department, and following confirmation from the RBIF’s medical adviser Dr György Fekete, we knew what equipment we needed.

Bethesda Hospital needed help to buy equipment to improve the standard of neurodiagnostic care they could offer, and this fitted in perfectly with Paul’s plan.

“Due to the amazing generosity of my colleagues at Chefparade, who volunteered their time to deliver the evening and the numerous suppliers who donated produce, wine, whisky and beer, the band who performed for free, fantastic speeches, laughter and tears of joy and all the wonderful guests, we managed to achieve our target.” – added Paul.

With normal electroneurography tests we cannot see the nerves, so we can only infer from these results where the nerve damage is. This ultrasound equipment is a huge help in identifying the exact position and size of the damage, after broken bones, post-operative muscular problems, etc. – revealed Dr Rita Jakus.

The sum of money raised by Paul and his Chefparade colleagues on the night of the dinner was matched by the Robert Burns International Foundation, so we were able to make a donation of over HUF 2.6 million to Bethesda Hospital for the equipment, an outstanding achievement!

For the second year running and in cooperation with our long-time sponsor Budapest Airport, the RBIF was able to support the Neonatal Department at the Bajcsy-Zsilinsky Hospital in Budapest’s 10th district.

The department cares for approximately 200 babies each year, with between 15 and 20 babies on the ward at any one time. They are currently undergoing a renovation which will provide them with two wings within the department, one for natural births and the other for C-section births.

The RBIF was able to provide two pieces of equipment this year. The first item was a Bionet Patient Monitor. This device is versatile, compact, portable and lightweight, making it easy to move from room to room, and it provides advanced parameters and analysis for accurate patient care, which can be so important in those first few hours of a newborn’s life.

The second item the hospital asked for was an incubator, but this time an open incubator. One advantage of this type of incubator, as opposed to a closed one, is that although it does not have the same level of control over humidity, it is easier to achieve that all important skin-to-skin contact as it is possible to touch the baby from above.

Senior neonatologist at the Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Hospital, Dr. Judit Jeager, revealed that:

The open incubator, which is also a warming-resuscitation table, was used in our temporary operating theatre from the moment it arrived at the hospital. The new open incubator is used daily by babies born by c-section for whom it is so necessary to be placed in a warm environment. Currently, our temporary operating theatre is part of the hospital’s operating theatre wing, where it is cooler than otherwise optimal for newborns due to the central air conditioning. Our new open incubator heats up perfectly to the desired temperature so that newborns do not cool down during care.

According to Dr. Jeager, the renovation of the department has been underway since October, which means that neither the maternity ward, nor the operating theatre (dedicated for c-sections) are usable. Both are at temporary locations within the hospital, which is why it has been extremely important to be able to provide newborns with modern equipment. When the reconstruction is complete, they will be able to use both devices in the renovated maternity ward and in the theatre.

We thank the Foundation for its support in modernising the equipment of the Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Hospital’s Neonatal Department.

The Robert Burns International Foundation has donated equipment to the 2nd Department of Paediatrics at Semmelweis University in Tűzoltó utca every year since the roots of the Foundation were laid in 1998.

Following in his late father’s footsteps, Professor Dr. György Fekete led the 2nd Department until his semi-retirement in 2009. Author of 118 paediatric publications with 1034 citations, we are proud that he continues to advise the Foundation each year on deserving causes for the support of sick and underprivileged children around Hungary. In such capacities, he has long been recognised as one of the country’s unsung heroes for sick children.

In 2010, recommended by the British Embassy, Professor Fekete led the highly successful Royal Visit of the Duchess of Cornwall and the British Ambassador around this department. The Foundation is lucky to continue to be advised by a man of such professional international standing and integrity.

This year, the second department requested Electro-Thermal Bipolar Vessel Sealing (EBVS) equipment for electro surgery. This is used for sealing blood vessels of up to 7mm in diameter.

The devices fuse vessel walls and create seals using a combination of electrical current and mechanical pressure, creating strong seals via the targeted, feedback-controlled delivery of compression and heat, resulting in significantly less intraoperative and postoperative bleeding. – Dr. Zoltán Jenővári, Head of Surgery.

Long overdue in SOTE II, the technology was originally introduced in 1998 and since then has been used widely for a variety of laparoscopic and open surgical procedures worldwide, making them safer and more efficient. The procedure especially benefits children with challenging tumours.

Dr. Jenővári added:

We are extremely pleased that the Foundation supported the acquisition of these devices which provide much help in improving the surgical treatment of hundreds of our patients every year. Our grateful thanks in the name of the patients and surgeons as well.

 

The SME Sponsorship Scheme has gone from strength to strength since it was launched a number of years ago, and we were delighted this year to be able to support a hospital in Fejér county for the first time.

Norhot Kft. is a real estate company based in Budapest, and the owners joined our scheme for the first time in 2020, identifying Fejér county as the region that they wished to support.

As is custom with our new donations we turned to the RBIF’s medical adviser, Professor György Fekete, to help us in our search for a worthy beneficiary. We were put in contact with Dr Gábor Simon, who runs the paediatric department at the Szent György University Hospital in Székesfehérvár.

The doctors and nurses at the paediatric department revealed that volumetric pumps would be most useful for their daily work, and asked if we could help. Thanks to the generosity of Norhot Kft., and with the RBIF matching the donation, we were able to fund the purchase of two Alaris volumetric pumps and an infusion stand.

According to Dr Simon,

The Alaris volumetric pumps are extremely useful for the department. When treating children, especially those in critical conditions, it is crucial for fluid and volume replacement to be precise and aligned with body weight. Medicines administered in certain infusions can be dosed with precision thanks to the volumetric pumps.

The pumps offer a versatile and flexible platform for infusion therapy, which is suitable across a broad range of applications, and they have a range of features suited to drug therapy, blood transfusions and parenteral feeding, with a large, clear display and intuitive operation.

A big thank you to Norhot Kft. for their kind donation, and for agreeing to continue their involvement in 2021, so we can look forward to completing another project next year.

Every year the Robert Burns International Foundation encourages small and medium-sized businesses to get involved in our charity work by means of the SME Sponsorship Scheme.

Running for several years now, this scheme enables companies to make targeted donations to specific projects helping sick and underprivileged children around the country. All donations are doubled by the RBIF to really make a difference to the project in question. What is more, the sponsor in question can choose which part of the country they wish to support.

WhiskyNet need no introduction to those who are familiar with the Annual Budapest Burns Supper. A long-standing and successful company ensuring Hungary is well supplied with the finest whiskies that Scotland and the world has to offer, not to mention a fine supply of gins and rums, the owners Zsolt and Kati contacted the RBIF in early 2020 with their intention to join the SME Sponsorship Scheme. After identifying eastern Hungary as their preferred area, and following the advice of our medical adviser Prof. György Fekete, we settled on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Debrecen University Clinical Centre.

Discussions with Head Physician Tamás Kovács resulted in the choice of equipment being a Novos Bililed Maxi device, which is used for the phototherapy treatment of jaundice in newborn babies.

Jaundice is a common phenomenon in the days immediately after birth; it is generally mild, and soon passes by itself. However, high levels of bilirubin in the blood can cause the jaundice to more pronounced, leading to drowsiness, eating difficulties and therefore dehydration. In some cases jaundice can be a symptom of more extreme underlying diseases, which in turn can cause brain damage and/or require blood transfusions.

Head Physician Tamás Kovács:

This device purchased with the help of the Robert Burns International Foundation is very effective and can be used continuously. It converts the bilirubin in the skin making it easier to travel harmlessly through the body. It helps newborns and premature babies to overcome their jaundice more quickly, and in serious cases to avoid risky blood transfusions, and we could not have purchased it without the help of the RBIF.

The Péterfy Sándor Street Hospital, located in District 7, is one of Budapest’s oldest and largest hospitals in Budapest with nearly 1,600 beds, where patients can be treated for many different ailments and conditions. 

The neonatal wing is run by Dr Gábor Baross who, with the support of his team, can deal with anything between 500 and 600 premature babies every year with a maximum capacity to accommodate 20 to 30 babies at any one time.

This department of the hospital has been a beneficiary of support from the Robert Burns International Foundation for many years, and following the most recent donation of equipment received in 2019, a further easing and enabling of the teams to work with premature babies, was planned in 2020.

The funds provided by the Foundation made the departments work easier and the care of premature babies became safer. During the year the department’s wards were renovated and the “kis-mama” rooms were redecorated.

Further donations also enabled replacement of the old workstations of the preterm-infant nurses, providing them with modern, much more practical and comfortable ones.

According to Gábor Boross:

This not only means better working conditions for the nurses and employees, it also helps us ensure safer patient care.

Completing the year’s donation also provided for 3 Mindray uMEC 10-12 monitors complete with stands and accessories for them. These monitors are fixtures in the department and are used on a daily basis. In past years the RBIF has donated several monitors of this type, and they have proven their reliability with easy and user-friendly operation. Their constant usage dictates that over time they need to be replaced, and thanks to the generosity of the guests and sponsors of the annual Burns Supper the Robert Burns International Foundation is able to help make sure that the department always has the necessary number of functional and reliable equipment at its disposal.

The forecast all week held out the prospect of rain, but again we were fortunate with the weather as 100 guests descended on the wine village of Etyek for the RBIF’s 3rd Annual BBQ on 30 August 2020.

With plenty of space for kids to run around the venue is the perfect location to relax as the summer draws to a close, and we were certainly well looked after.

BBQ cuisine

Paul Mizener and his team at the Chefparade cooking school had been preparing the food for up to 48 hours in some cases, and this was evident in the range of delicious meats they put on: BBQ spare ribs, chicken thighs prepared in the smoker, burnt end chili, amazing fillet steak, and the ever-popular BBQ pulled pork, accompanied by coleslaw, pickles and potatoes..

And if that were not enough, at the end we were able to enjoy Paul’s famous brownie, you need to taste it to believe it.

Fine wines

But it wasn’t all about the food, once again we enjoyed the support of the Etyeki Kúria Winery, who popped over from their neighbouring estate and allowed us to taste some great wines, the Pláne Frizzante White, the Kúria Rose, and the Kúria Red, all perfectly suited to the weather and the food.

Sponsors’ help is crucial

Events like the BBQ don’t fund themselves, so we were very grateful for the help of Mike Glover and his team at Taxually (“VAT compliance has never been easier”), whose generous offer of sponsorship enabled us to hold this year’s event. We raised almost HUF 200,000 which will be put towards our projects in 2021.

We were fortunate to be able to organise the BBQ against the background of COVID-19 and all the complications it brings, and fingers crossed we will see you all again in January for the Burns Supper at the Corinthia Hotel.

Just click on the photo below to view all the pictures from the BBQ:

photos: Pelle Zoltán

On 31 July – 1 August 2020 the RBIF took part in a charity golf weekend to help raise money for the Foundation for Saving Premature Babies and Paediatric Intensive Care in Zalaegerszeg, one of the RBIF’s key partners in 2020.  

This foundation raises money for the paediatric unit at the Szent Rafael Hospital in Zalaegerszeg, and for the last two years the RBIF has been a key contributor in collaboration with FirstMed Centers, as part of our SME Sponsorship Scheme.

The objective of the weekend was to raise money for a new outdoor rehabilitation area at the hospital, giving children who spend weeks and months in hospital the opportunity to make progress in their recovery in the fresh air.

Some of the children who stayed in the paediatric unit as premature babies featured on posters showing just how much they had achieved since those early days, and what their dreams are. If you can help us fulfil those dreams, like horse-riding in the sunset or having a little dog then please let us know!

The tournament was named the Steven Dick Memorial in memory of Deputy UK Ambassador and RBIF Curatorium member Steven Dick, who sadly fell victim to Covid-19 earlier this year, and Ambassador Iain Lindsay also attended the event, even winning the Men’s B category. Well done to him!

Steven attended the Zalaegerszeg foundation’s 10th anniversary dinner in February along with Douglas Arnott, the RBIF’s chairman, where they handed over deserved awards to nurses with long service records. At the golf event the organisers put together a very touching video of Steven’s time in Zalaegerszeg, which you can view below.

The weekend was a great success, raising over HUF 2 million for the outdoor rehabilitation area, and the RBIF will be looking to boost this sum next year.

The Robert Burns International Foundation (RBIF) is supported by the British Ambassador to Hungary and the Hungarian Ambassador to the UK. The Honorary President of the foundation is Sir Alex Ferguson, former manager of Manchester United football club. In the last 20 years the organisation has raised several hundred thousand euros to help sick and underprivileged children.

Contact: info@rbif.hu

On Saturday 15 February 2020 the Robert Burns International Foundation together with the British Embassy took part in the 10th Anniversary Ball of the Premature Baby Rescue and Paediatric IC Foundation in Zalaegerszeg, a body that performs sterling work with premature babies and young children in western Hungary, saving the lives of 1500 children over the last decade.

Together with long-standing sponsor FirstMed Centers the RBIF has been supporting the Szent Rafael Hospital in Zalaegerszeg since 2018, providing much needed equipment to help facilitate the crucial work performed there by the local doctors and nurses.

Also present at the ball were Hungarian doctors who previously worked temporarily under the NHS in the UK, but have since come back to put their know-how to good use at home. UK Ambassador Iain Lindsay was the patron of the evening, and the Embassy was represented by Deputy Head of Mission Steven Dick.

We look forward to continuing our cooperation with the Szent Rafael Hospital and FirstMed in the course of 2020:

Photos: Kálóczi Photo

Make sure you like the RBIF Facebook page or follow us on Instagram or Twitter to be sure of hearing all the details about all of our projects and events. You can also sign up to our mailing list here.

 

 

The Robert Burns International Foundation (RBIF) is supported by the British Ambassador to Hungary and the Hungarian Ambassador to the UK. The Honorary President of the foundation is Sir Alex Ferguson, former manager of Manchester United football club. In the last 20 years the organisation has raised several hundred thousand euros to help sick and underprivileged children.

Contact: info@rbif.hu

A huge thank you to all the helpers and sponsors that assisted with the 23rd Annual Budapest Burns Supper at the Corinthia Budapest. Many people, companies and organisations support us in different ways, both financially and with products or services. Without their generous assistance the Burns Supper would not be the event it is.

We raised HUF 11 million on the night, with a further HUF 2 million raised after the Burns Supper, a fantastic achievement by everyone involved. Together with reserves we will be looking to finance new projects in 2020 worth HUF 15 million.

Check out our gallery for all the photos of the evening!

SPONSOR OF THE YEAR

 

 

Make sure you like the RBIF Facebook page or follow us on Instagram or Twitter to be sure of hearing all the details about next year’s event in good time, and to find out what projects the RBIF will be supporting throughout 2020.

The Robert Burns International Foundation (RBIF) is supported by the British Ambassador to Hungary and the Hungarian Ambassador to the UK. The Honorary President of the foundation is Sir Alex Ferguson, former manager of Manchester United football club. In the last 20 years the organisation has raised several hundred thousand euros to help sick and underprivileged children.

Contact: info@rbif.hu