As we come to end of 2018, it’s time to look back at what’s been achieved, what’s changed; and what do we have to look forward to.

For the Association it has been a year of great change, but also great accomplishment also. The very small team in Warwick have served our member charities giving email advice and guidance to over 200 enquiries, in addition to telephone support. Autumn’s fundraising MIG conference was the largest ever with 150 delegates, receiving great feedback with 91% saying the conference was very good or good and 98% reporting the event was very useful or useful. We published new best practice example documents on the website and there is new information about Trustee Training in the Shared Documents area also. It is great news that the website saw a significant increase in users throughout the second part of this year, up by nearly 200 users.

This year has also been a year to celebrate. The NHS turning 70 instigated a coming together of NHS Charities in a new way that had not happened before under the banner of ‘NHS Charities Together’; the creation of the NHS Big 7tea, and medley of parties and events to celebrate, thank and give back.

As part of this, Southmead Hospital Charity have a charity single written and recorded by a community and a school choir to thank the NHS. The song ‘We Are The Same Inside’ by Melody Makers Choir and Horfield Primary School Choir for the NHS was released as a download at the beginning of December and reached number 4 in the Amazon charts and the iTunes top 40! It would be really good if we could keep this climbing so please do give them some Christmas goodwill: spread the word and download your copy for just 99p on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play or stream it on Spotify. You can watch the wonderful music video featuring the choirs, patients and staff here  (shameless plug I know, but hey it’s Christmas and love a good school choir!)

Next year we also have much to look forward to, with a new website and further increased digital support services, new regional support groups, increased events and development opportunities including the planned pilot of our mentoring programme for members. In addition to this, new nationwide campaigns building on the success of NHS70 with the aim of claiming 5th July as NHS Day, so we can really drive forward the support, funding and services we give to the NHS.

So as we say good bye to 2018 and hello to 2019 in a couple of weeks, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my amazing team here in Warwick: Claire Bowry and April Hurney for all their hard work and dedication to giving their very best to supporting you our members. To James Varley and Keith Brooks for their financial acumen, support and numerous voluntary hours looking after the figures. Thank you so much to the whole of Council for your support, governance and guidance; in particular to Colin Maclean our Chairman, for your great support to me personally as I joined Association as the new Chief Exec. Thank you to the MIG committee and all our member charities, for the support you give to the Association and to each other. May you all have a very special and peaceful Christmas and a right rollicking New Year!!

“May you never be too grown up to search the skies on Christmas Eve.”

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Ellie Orton

Chief Executive

Association of NHS Charities



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