This last week saw The Association of NHS Charities exhibiting for the first time at a national conference with The NHS Providers Annual Conference in Manchester. The conference brought together 700 delegates, mostly from senior level (Chairs, CEO and Directors) within NHS Trusts, and speakers included CEO’s from NHS England and NHS Improvement along with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP. The theme of the conference was Change and we pitched our exhibition to demonstrate how NHS Charities contribute to this through funding and enhancing innovation, care and the healthcare environment. It was excellent to be able to raise the profile of NHS Charities and network with significant numbers of people at this level. This was very much a team effort, therefore I would like to say a BIG thank you to Sarah Naismith, Head of Charity at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust Charity; Tim Diggle, Head of Charity at Leicester Hospital Charity; Carole Salmon, Community Fundraiser at Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charitable Fund for coming to Manchester and working with Claire and I on the stand; and to Claire and April for pulling this together with me, so we could make the most of this amazing opportunity given to us.
In addition, I have continued my grand tour, and as I’ve travelled to the South West to see Love Musgrove Charity in Taunton, Somerset, and Above and Beyond Charity in Bristol; the North West to see Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust Charity; and the East Midlands to see Leicester Hospitals Charity it has been brilliant to see first-hand and with such pride the difference charitable funds make to the hospital communities served. I have listened to stories of partnership building with personnel from the trust and charity, both working hard to understand how they can develop and maintain valued relationships; and how vision, determination and huge dollops of emotional intelligence have ensured that each of these charities, differing in size and capacity continue to strive to do more and add more value to their relationship with their Trust. One thing that all these charities have in common is they understand their worth and their value; and because of this they effectively communicate, with the right people and at the right time. What I am seeing more is that, it is by understanding our own value and worth, that we can confidently, but not arrogantly, express and measure the difference NHS Charities make and equally seek to improve and up-level our own house so we can do more and measure it better.
‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.’ Marianne Williamson, A return to Love
Chief Executive, Association of NHS Charities