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Press Release: New faces and a new era at Pharmacist Support

January 2014 marks a new era at Pharmacist Support – the independent charity for pharmacists and their families, former pharmacists and pharmacy students in need. December 2013 saw the retirement of Doreen Laity and Leonard Brookes, both of whom were recruited into the Charity in 2006 by the RPSGB, who previously governed the Charity. The initial long standing Board helped steer the charity through major transformation and into the organisation it is today, overseeing its relaunch into Pharmacist Support from its previous benevolent fund origins. Also retiring at the end of 2013 was Chair, Steve Churton.

As of January 1st the Charity has its first independently recruited board of Trustees. New recruits to the board include Anita Cawley, Sunil Lakhani, Jonathan Mason and Robbie Turner.  Professor Peter Noyce takes over the position of Chair, Christine Miles joins him as Vice Chair and Richard Fass continues on as Treasurer. Professor Denis Anthony, Sally Atkinson and Hamish Borno complete the now ten-member Board.

Passionate about clinical development, Anita has spent most of her professional life in the pharmaceutical industry with some practical experience in hospital and community pharmacy. She spent 10 years at Astrazeneca in their clinical operations function including 3 year tenure as employee consultation representation supporting individuals through large business change and redundancy situations. Anita is currently pursuing a new business venture to build a network of freelance clinical research associates. She joins the charity as a co-opted board member.

Sunil qualified as a pharmacist in 1991. Following a number of years managing pharmacy’s he joined Mountford chemists, where he eventually became a shareholder and partner in the business. With them he ran two successful pharmacies in Barnet winning numerous National Awards.  In 1998, at the age of 30, Sunil was appointed a Justice of the Peace (one of the youngest Magistrates to be appointed). Earlier this year he bought two more pharmacies from the administrator’s local to his current pharmacy, saving in total almost 50 jobs.

As Clinical Adviser (Medicines) at NHS England (London Region) and former National Clinical Director for Primary Care and Community Pharmacy at the Department of Health, Jonathan champions the development of medicines optimisation services to best meet the needs of patients and the public. He is a member of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia Champion Group and recently chaired the NICE Good Practice Guidance Development Group on Patient Group Directions. Jonathan has a wealth of experience in pharmacy practice and is passionate about the role of community pharmacy in improving the use of medicines and promoting and supporting healthy lifestyles.

Robbie is currently Chief Executive Officer of Community Pharmacy West Yorkshire, the Local Pharmaceutical Committee who supports the work of West Yorkshire pharmacies and the development of local services. He worked in community pharmacy (both independent and multiple) for twenty years’ before moving into senior management and development roles. Robbie is committed to supporting pharmacists and their teams and recognises that the increased demands on them could become overwhelming.

“This is an exciting time for Pharmacist Support”, commented newly appointed Chair Peter Noyce. “The charity has moved into new premises to accommodate its expanding team and is in the process of piloting a number of new services. With the launch of a new fundraising strategy this year, 2014 will also be focused on the Charity’s future and how we can continue to support the needs of our service users to provide maximum benefit.”


For further information, please contact Kate Westbrook, Marketing Manager at Pharmacist Support on 0161 441 0313 or email

Notes to Editors

  • Pharmacist Support is the independent charity for pharmacists and is funded by donations from pharmacists.
  • Pharmacist Support was previously known as The Benevolent Fund of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and became an independent charity in 2006 when governance transferred from the Council of the RPSGB to a board of Trustees.
  • The charity was re-launched in 2008 to reflect the modern day needs of today’s pharmacists and legally changed its name to Pharmacist Support in January 2011.
  • Pharmacist Support’s services are available to all pharmacists and their dependents, former pharmacists, preregistration trainees and pharmacy students. NB Pharmacists do not need to be members of the RPS, nor do they need to be on the register at the time of the enquiry to use the charity’s services (they could, for example, be taking a break or have been removed for whatever reason).
  • All services are FREE and confidential and include; Listening Friends (a stress helpline), financial assistance, specialist advice in debt, benefits and employment law, an information and enquiry service and addiction support (via the Health Support Programme).

Pharmacist Support Contact details

General enquiries & Information

Phone:  0808 168 2233

Listening Friends Helpline:                  0808 168 5133
Health Support Programme:              0808 168 5132

Live Chat:                                  

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