Pharmacist Support celebrates 180th anniversary

Today marks the 180th anniversary of Pharmacist Support - the profession’s independent charity.

Thu 15th April 2021 The PDA

The charity has evolved from its small benevolent fund roots, providing financial assistance to those in the profession who had fallen on hard times, into a modern-day independent charity, focused on championing the wellbeing of their pharmacy family through a wide range of free and confidential services.

This shift in focus and expansion to supporting individuals in the profession with more emotional needs began 25 years ago in 1996 with the launch of its Listening Friends scheme – a peer to peer telephone service offering callers the opportunity to talk anonymously and in confidence to a pharmacist about any stresses they are facing. The move to providing more proactive support came in 2012 with the Legacy of pharmacy owner Robert Wardley, who wanted his gift in will to be used to help pharmacists in stress. This led to the charity developing a series of wellbeing workshops and in 2020, following feedback and further market research, to refresh its vision and mission and launch a new 5-year strategy focused on championing wellbeing in pharmacy.

Danielle Hunt, Chief Executive of Pharmacist Support, said: “This has been quite the journey. We’ve come such a long way from the organisation we were 180 years ago and are proud of the way we have adapted and responded to the profession’s needs over this time. In continuing this responsive and proactive approach we’re absolutely delighted as part of these anniversary celebrations to share news of a number of key wellbeing partnership activities. As we shift our focus now to the future it is our hope that these developments will build on our existing services, providing more tailored and emotional mental health support as we move into the new phase of our charitable journey.”

Thanks to a grant from the Covid-19 Healthcare Support Appeal (CHSA) Pharmacist Support will soon be able to provide direct psychological support for those who are experiencing mental health issues. Through this funding, the charity has established a new counselling partnership with The Counselling and Family Centre that will fund six counselling sessions. Pharmacists, trainees and students will be able to access this new service through the charity’s website from 23 April 2021.

Pharmacist Support is also delighted to announce the continuation of their well-established partnership with the Pharmacists’ Defense Association (PDA). Through this partnership formed in September of 2017, the PDA pledged to donate £1 per member to the charity to support its valuable wellbeing work. To date, the PDA and its members have donated £120,000 to Pharmacist Support, enabling them to continue to provide their free and confidential services and crucially to develop and launch their first wellbeing campaign (ACTNow) in 2020. The charity is delighted to be collaborating with the organisation in 2021 on the development of new trainee focused wellbeing resources.

Danielle added: “By working collaboratively and continuing to listen, we hope the charity will continue to provide an independent safe space for those in our pharmacy family to share their worries and access support for many more years to come.”  

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The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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