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How students can get involved with the Medicines to Ukraine initiative

Recently, PDA Chairman and Secretary General of EPhEU Mark Koziol announced an exciting opportunity for MPharm students to get involved in the Medicines to Ukraine initiative by leading their own fundraising campaign in their university.

Mon 27th February 2023 The PDA

Each campaign will be judged on leadership, profile, levels of engagement, innovation, inclusion, and education. One member from the winning team will attend the FIP 81st World Congress in Brisbane, Australia, and one team member from each of the second and third-placed teams will attend the 12th EPhEU General Assembly in Oslo, Norway. To see more about why students should get involved, the judging criteria, and the international congresses, click here.

Read more to find out how to start the campaign, including a step-by-step on what teams will need to do, some tips on how to fundraise, and key dates:

Step 1. How to start?

A big part of what makes Medicines to Ukraine possible is collaboration between people, organisations, and countries. The PDA wants MPharm students to work together to lead campaigns in their universities. Therefore, there will only be one team per university.

The teams could be made up of MPharm students from different years who haven’t met before, and this is a great opportunity to develop confidence and team working skills. Collaboration and influence are at the heart of a successful fundraising campaign.

Students looking to participate should try getting in touch with their tutor to advertise the opportunity and look for team members. They could use WhatsApp and Telegram groups to find others who are interested in forming a group. The PDA can also put teams in touch with other teams at the same university when they register.

Once participants have formed their team, they should use this survey to register. Each team lead will be the main contact for information from the PDA.

Step 2. How to work out the direction of the team’s fundraising campaign?

Teams should set up a time to get together and think about what it is that they want to do to raise money and raise awareness about the Medicines to Ukraine initiative.

Every campaign will be different; some may be serious and others may focus on fun, but all campaigning must be inclusive and respectful of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Teams will also need to use lots of initiative as their fundraising campaign will need to be cost-neutral and can include in-person or social media activity.

All campaigns will use the Just Giving page as a secure way students can donate using their name and university, so participants should work out how they want to get donations.

Step 3. How to make sure participants have a successful and organised fundraising campaign?

A fundraising campaign is fundraising that happens over an extended period of time and highlights a specific goal. This fundraising campaign is about raising money for Medicines to Ukraine, but also educating others on why it is important to get safe medicines to Ukraine and the role of a pharmacist in making sure medicines are safe. This is where the knowledge that participants have as pharmacy students will come in.

A campaign timeline will help teams keep on track of what they want to do for their fundraising campaign.

These questions also provide some structure to help teams develop their plan:

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Who can you get in contact with at your university for support?
  • What are you going to say about the Medicines to Ukraine campaign and pharmacists?
  • What difference will the donations make to the lives of the people and children in Ukraine?
  • What are the responsibilities of each of your team members?

While teams can be as creative as they like, it is important to be realistic about what they can achieve when developing their plan.

Step 4. How to reach out and connect to others? 

It’s down to participants and their team members to work out how they want to reach others at their university.

Examples of campaign activities might include:


  • Get people to sponsor the team/participant to do an activity, like a run or to dress in a costume for a day.


  • Set up a stall selling cakes, arts and crafts, or a raffle.
  • Set up a car wash station.


  • Set up a sporting event where team members donate some money to participate.
  • Set up a baking challenge where all contestants pay a fee to enter.
  • Ask student unions or pharmacy societies for help setting up a social event, like a pub quiz or karaoke night.
  • Try working with other university societies and clubs to put on a special event, for example, team up with the university’s karate society for a taster day where all participants donate £3.
  • Host a notable speaker and sell tickets in advance or at the door.

Profile raising

  • Find suitable places for Medicines to Ukraine posters so that the public donates.
  • Engage with the Ukrainian community in the university’s town/city.
  • Get the fundraising activities reported on local radio and in other local media.
  • Ask local politicians to endorse the campaign.

These are just some examples to get participants thinking about what they can do, but teams should feel free to do their own fundraising activity.


Advertising the fundraising:

It’s important that participants make people aware of what they are doing, and why. They can talk to their pharmacy society, student union, or lecturers to help spread the message about their events or sponsored activities across the university and, if appropriate, across the local community. They could even try getting in touch with local radio stations or newspapers to share more information on what their team is doing.

Talking to new people and setting up activities can put participants outside of their comfort zone, but this is often where personal growth happens. Participants should be brave and remember that what they and their team are doing will make a difference to the people of Ukraine.

Step 5. How to make sure the judges know what the teams are doing? 

Teams will need to send the judges proof of their activities to help inform their decisions on who will be the winning teams, of which one team member will be joining the international delegations. So, participants will need to take plenty of photos and keep a record of all their work.

Sharing their activities is also a way of celebrating their achievements and building their profile in the pharmacy sector. Participants can use #MedicinesToUkraine to share their campaign along the way, and should make sure to keep a record that can be sent to at the end of their campaign.

The rules

Only PDA student members can register to take part in campaigning. PDA Student membership is completely free, and students can sign up here.

All participating MPharm students must behave in accordance with GPhC standards for pharmacy professionals. This includes working in partnership with others, behaving in a professional manner, being respectful, and demonstrating leadership.

Money should be donated on Medicines to Ukraine’s Just Giving page. In order to record where money is coming from, make sure donations include the team’s university in the optional ‘Add a message to this donation’ box, i.e. ‘John Smith, Queen’s University Belfast’.

Participants should register their teams by 31 March 2023.

Campaigning will close on 30 June 2023.

Get involved

Learn more


Not yet a PDA member?

If you have not yet joined the PDA, we encourage you to join today and ask your colleagues to do the same.

Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists, and for the first three months of being newly qualified.


Read about our key member benefits here.





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