As we approach the end of another year, it is with immense pride that I reflect on the remarkable journey of Pharmacist Support over the past 12 months. In the face of ongoing challenges for both the charity and our pharmacy family, our collective efforts have worked tirelessly to meet the increasing demand for charity support. I extend my heartfelt thanks to our incredible supporters, volunteers, and partners who have played a pivotal role in making this year a resounding success. Their unwavering dedication and collaboration have been instrumental in achieving several milestones and highlights that we are eager to share.
New charity video: Inspiring support
One of the highlights of the year was the creation and release of our new charity video, providing an inspiring and informative glimpse into the vital work of our pharmacy family and what we do at Pharmacist Support to support them. The video serves as a powerful tool to communicate the challenges faced by individuals in the profession and aims to garner support and awareness of our charity.
Championing wellbeing: Making a positive difference
In line with our mission, we have continued to raise awareness and advocate for change. From conducting our annual joint Workforce Wellbeing Survey with the RPS to chairing the first Wellbeing focused roundtable, we’ve been proactive in addressing the wellbeing needs of the profession.
Our ACTNow wellbeing campaigns have also continued to build momentum this year and seen remarkable success, with significant increases in sign-ups across all three campaigns (ranging from 17% – 102%). Plus, we have also been on our own wellbeing journey here at the charity which details how we’ve created a culture within the team where everyone felt valued, felt able to speak up and where there were high levels of trust.
Service development: Meeting changing needs
In response to the increasing demand for our services and with the aim of improving accessibility, we have continued to focus on enhancing our digital offering. One development included the launch of an online self-referral system for peer support, a significant step in streamlining access to our services.
Furthermore, in recognising the importance of responding to the evolving needs of our pharmacy family, we conducted a comprehensive review of our financial assistance service and swiftly implemented a number of changes following a review of the addiction support service in late 2023.
Collaborations: Working together to increase our impact
This year we developed a new fundraising strategy focused on meeting the increased demand for the charity’s services. With a bold aspiration to raise £1million over the next four years, this strategy is not just a plan; it’s a call to action, beckoning support from individuals and organisations across the sector.
Over the past few years, we’ve cultivated incredible partnerships with the likes of the PDA and Teva UK. Their generous and ever-growing annual contributions have been instrumental in propelling us toward significant milestones.
Through sponsorship of our Trainee ACTNow campaign, Boots and Locate a Locum sponsorship have also helped us amplify our wellbeing message and develop new free resources.
We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to the Hull & Manchester Pharmacists Associations, PG Mutual, Core Prescribing Solutions, and Viatris for their generous donations that have played a pivotal role in fuelling our mission.
These charity partnerships and corporate donations have been a lifeline enabling us to extend a helping hand to the hundreds of individuals who have turned to us in their times of need.
Events: Connecting with our pharmacy family
From insightful sessions and impactful presentations to fundraising efforts and new initiatives, our charity participated in various events throughout the year including the Clinical Pharmacy Congress, Pharmacy Show, RPS Conference, Day Lewis Conference, UKCPA conference, C&D Awards, Welsh Pharmacy Awards, and Scottish Healthcare Awards. These events provided valuable opportunities to connect with our pharmacy family.
Thank you to our volunteers
Our fantastic volunteers, including new student ambassador volunteers, have been the backbone of our advocacy efforts. Their dedication strengthens our network and reinforces our commitment to supporting the pharmacy community. And huge thanks go to our Peer Support Listening Friends volunteers who have given over 74 hours of their time to supporting colleagues through difficult times.
Exciting new development: Embracing a Workplace Wellbeing Culture course
Informed by the results of our annual workforce wellbeing survey, our new course ‘Embracing a Workplace Wellbeing Culture’ is designed for current and aspiring pharmacy managers and leaders. Using our in-depth knowledge of both mental health and pharmacy has allowed the team to create a comprehensive six-module training course. The launch date is set for 15th January 2024 and we’re currently offering an early-bird discount!
ACO award: Recognising excellence
In September we had the honour of being recognised as Small Charity of the Year at the annual Association of Charitable Organisations Awards. Up against many other fantastic charities, this award showcases the excellence and impact of our services.
As the year draws to a close, we wish to express our deepest gratitude to everyone who has contributed to the increased impact of the charity. Your dedication, support, and collaboration have been invaluable, and we look forward to continuing this journey together in 2024.
Wishing you all a restful festive break and a new year filled with prosperity, joy, and continued success. Thank you for being an essential part of the Pharmacist Support family.
Danielle Hunt, Chief Executive