Reflect (verb): to think carefully, especially about possibilities and opinions
– Cambridge dictionary
The impact of the last 21 months has been profound. As 2021 comes to a close, many of us will take the time to reflect and think about the year ahead. Going through an experience like the global pandemic has encouraged a lot of us to look introspectively about what matters. Many individuals and organisations don’t want the lessons of the pandemic to be squandered. Instead, we want them to serve as opportunities to find a path to happiness and fulfilment.
2021 in a nutshell
At Pharmacist Support, we too have taken time to reflect. The pandemic has brought into sharp focus our vision – ‘No one in our pharmacy family will face challenging times without us by their side’. In this vein, reflection for us focuses very much on what difference the charity has made. Earlier in the year we launched our impact report for 2020 which provided us with an opportunity to assess progress against the charity’s five-year strategy. A notable success was that 90% of our service users reported improved wellbeing. The impact report also highlighted a 75% increase in awareness of the charity which, as the profession’s only charity, is a huge boost for us.
Take a look at our 2020 Impact Report
Support from the profession
Our impact continues to grow through our continued focus on building strong partnerships across the profession. These partnerships have supported us to further increase awareness of the charity and our service. They also help us financially to deliver more support to our pharmacy family. It isn’t just our partners who have helped us make huge progress. We are immensely grateful to the continued support of our donors, fundraisers and volunteers whose work makes such a difference. A special mention must go to our London Marathon runner Mohammed Hussain who raised over £4,000 for the charity!
Read more about our partnerships
Celebrating a big anniversary
We were provided with a further opportunity to reflect as we celebrated our 180th anniversary. We’ve grown immensely from our benevolent roots and continue to adapt and respond to the profession’s needs. With high levels of stress and potential burnout present across the profession, in April we launched a new counselling service. This service provides crucial support through 12 sessions of fully funded counselling to pharmacists, students, and trainees. In addition, as part of the 25-year anniversary of Listening Friends, we recruited more volunteers to strengthen the peer support offered through this vital anonymous service. We are extremely grateful to the volunteers who continue to support our pharmacy family and look forward to welcoming a new group of volunteers to the service in January 2022.
Read more about our counselling and peer support service
More wellbeing support
Utilising digital advancements, we have expanded our proactive online support focused on wellbeing. As well as launching our new website with much improved information and guidance, we have launched a new and free Wellbeing Learning Platform to encourage and support individual wellbeing training, developed and delivered new online workshops for pharmacy teams and developed of a huge array of support videos. Welcoming Melissa Cochrane (Wellbeing Development) and Martha Harris (Marketing and Communications) has provided us with a greater opportunity to develop and launch all of these new resources and tools.
Register on our new Wellbeing Learning Platform
Another great year for ACTNow
Building on the great success of 2020, we ran our ACTNow wellbeing campaign for a second year. Segmented for different audiences, we saw an increase in sign-ups and interaction with the campaign. We were delighted to showcase the Pharmacist ACTNow campaign in person at both the Clinical Pharmacy Congress and the Pharmacy Show and grateful to have been the nominated charity at both events.
Looking ahead to 2022
To support people to make positive change, early next year we are launching a new workshop called Living the Life You Want to Live, Post-Pandemic. Through this workshop we will explore evidence-based ways to identify and live life according to your values, make choices that will lead to greater happiness, set goals and form positive habits, and use neuroscience-based tools to help us to move towards the life we want to live.
We understand that individuals alone cannot prioritise their own mental health and wellbeing if the working environment does not support these individuals to thrive. Therefore, we are committed to developing wellbeing tools for managers and organisations to embedded wellbeing practice in the workplace.
And finally, 2022 will bring new faces to the charity! We’re delighted to welcome five new trustees over the course of the year, as well as kickstarting recruitment of more charity ambassadors. If you are interested in getting involved as a volunteer, please sign up to our newsletter through which you’ll be the first to know about upcoming volunteer opportunities.
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The past 21 months have been tough for our pharmacy family and others working in and connected to our profession. I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to support the Great British public, and thank you for your ongoing support of the charity as we equally continue to be there for those who need us.
Danielle Hunt, Pharmacist Support Chief Executive