180 years of support!
We’ve evolved from our small benevolent fund roots, providing financial assistance to those in the profession who had fallen on hard times into a modern day independent charity. Today, we’re focused on championing the wellbeing of our pharmacy family through a wide range of free and confidential services.
This shift in focus to supporting individuals in the profession with more emotional needs began twenty five years ago with the launch of our Listening Friends scheme. Listening Friends is a peer to peer telephone service offering callers the opportunity to talk anonymously and in confidence to a pharmacist about any stresses they are facing. The move to providing more proactive support came in 2012 with the Legacy of pharmacy owner Robert Wardley, who wanted his gift in will to be used to help pharmacists in stress. This led to us developing a series of wellbeing workshops and refreshing our vision and mission with the launch of a new 5-year strategy.
We continue to be responsive and proactive
“This has been quite the journey” commented Danielle Hunt, Chief Executive of Pharmacist Support. “We’ve come such a long way from the organisation we were 180 years ago and are proud of the way we have adapted and responded to the profession’s needs over this time. In continuing this responsive and proactive approach we’re absolutely delighted as part of these anniversary celebrations to share news of a number of key wellbeing partnership activities. As we shift our focus now to the future it is our hope that these developments will build on our existing services, providing more tailored and emotional mental health support as we move into the new phase of our charitable journey.”
New Counselling offer
Thanks to a grant from the Covid-19 Healthcare Support Appeal (CHSA) we’ll soon be providing direct psychological support for those who are experiencing mental health issues. Through this funding, we’ve established a new counselling partnership with The Counselling and Family Centre that will fund six counselling sessions. Pharmacists, trainees and students will be able to access this new service through our website from the 23 April.
Continued work with the PDA, RPS and Alphega Pharmacy
We are also delighted to announce the continuation of our well-established partnership with the Pharmacists’ Defense Association. Through this partnership formed in September of 2017 the PDA pledged to donate £1 per member to the charity to support our valuable wellbeing work. To date the PDA and its members have donated £120,000 to Pharmacist Support, enabling us to continue to provide our free and confidential services and crucially to develop and launch our first wellbeing campaign (ACTNow) in 2020. We’re delighted to be collaborating with the PDA in 2021 on the development of new trainee focused wellbeing resources.
180 years on from our inception, we’re proud to formally reconnect once again with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Through our partnership with the professional leadership body, we hope to better understand and improve mental health awareness and practice within the sector. Over the past couple of years, the charity and the RPS have been working collaboratively on a series of wellbeing focused activities, including workforce wellbeing surveys and webinars. We plan to continue this work so together we can create the right working conditions and culture for good mental health and wellbeing in pharmacy, encourage the destigmatisation of mental health and enable pharmacy teams to access the support they need.
And finally, following their involvement in last year’s successful ACTNow campaign, we’re delighted to continue our partnership with the team at Alphega Pharmacy. In 2021 the partnership will focus on providing wellbeing support for Alphega Pharmacy staff and members, and training for a core team of ambassadors to champion wellbeing across the organisation.
“By working collaboratively and continuing to listen we hope the Charity will continue to provide an independent safe space for those in our pharmacy family to share their worries and access support for many more years to come” said Danielle Hunt.