Polly Brooks, alumna of the year 2004


Polly Brooks was named the University’s Alumna of the Year for 2004 for her courage and determination to help others following the Bali bombings of 2002.

Polly suffered 43% body burns in the 2002 terrorist attack and also lost her husband Dan who was killed in the bombing.

Wanting to help in a practical way to support other burn survivors, Polly set up Dan’s Fund for Burns in 2003. The charity has raised over £1.5 million and provides ongoing support and resources including physiotherapy, rehabilitation equipment, job retraining and counselling. It also funds some research into new treatment strategies and therapies for Burns Patients.

Having worked in banking for 10 years for organisations including BNP Paribas, Polly re-trained as an interior designer and is involved in decision making and fundraising for the charity. She also has her hands full at home with her two children, Lawrence and Nicola.

Polly said: "It was a massive honour to be named Birmingham University's 2004 Alumna of the Year.  The recognition from my Alma Mater for all that I had done and all that we had achieved at Dan's Fund For Burns was warmly received and I really enjoyed my trip back to the University to receive the award. It was great to be given the opportunity to speak to so many newly graduating students.  I hope that I managed to inspire some and help others to face the challenges that life throws at us at times.  It also gave me a welcome boost on my long journey to recovery. Thank you."