2014 was a busy year for the charity. There was a visit to Downing Street, we settled into a new office, we launched two new services, welcomed one new member of staff and four new trustees, exhibited and presented at a whole host of events across the country and launched the charity’s first fundraising initiatives!
Fundraising took centre stage this year and with a dedicated fundraiser in place we have seen a significant increase in support from students, pharmacists and trainees who have stepped up to the plate to raise valuable funds for the charity. Challenges have ranged from a London to Paris bike ride, a 10,000ft sky dive, a driving adventure across 17 countries and an open water swim, to various runs (some fun, some gruelling!), silent auctions, bake sales, coffee fasts and stamp collecting!
Donations through online giving were nearly 10 times greater than in previous years and we hope that this trend continues into 2015 when there will be many more opportunities to get involved and show your support!
Following successful pilots early in the year we were delighted to be able to add two new services to our support offering in 2014. The first being our national bursary scheme – an award for MPharm students (entering their final year), who demonstrate outstanding and exceptional qualities to overcome an ongoing adversity, financial hardship, sound academic performance and who are expected to make a positive and excellent contribution to pharmacy.
The second being the Wardley wellbeing service which came about following a generous legacy in memory of pharmacy owner Robert Wardley. This service consists of a series of workshops and online support tools that address the signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety and equip people with tools and techniques to help them deal with feelings of pressure.
Out and about
This additional activity has not prevented us from venturing out to raise awareness, however. The team have been out on the road promoting the charity’s work, sharing information and recruiting donors.
We met hundreds of pharmacists, students and trainees at events including The Pharmacy show, RPS Conference, Clinical Pharmacy Congress, BPSA Conference, UKCPA & GHP Conference and Pharmacy Management Forum. The Pharmacy Show saw the first outing of our wellbeing wall where visitors to the stand were encouraged to share their wellbeing tips and to drop a coin into the wishing (wellbeing) well. In return for their donation ‘well-wishers’ received a fortune cookie containing a personally crafted wellbeing message.
Movers and shakers
Other highlights from the year include a visit to Downing Street for Chief Executive Diane Leicester-Hallam, a larger office space for our expanding team and the discovery of ‘Harold’ – our office mascot and now social media celebrity – who has attracted quite a following and even managed to secure a TV interview at the Pharmacy Show!