The month of May has been a busy busy one.

We launched the Big Tea website with about 100 NHS Charity members, who signed up to our first ever NHS Big Tea, now showcased on the site, with links through to their own website, Big Tea pages and donation buttons.

For our member charities that didn’t sign up in time to feature on the website and would like to celebrate the NHS’ birthday on 5th July with an NHS Big Tea party and to raise the profile of their charity, then you still can. Please just contact us on and we will send you the link for the full campaign-in-a-box which contains everything you need.

On Wednesday 15th May we held our spring Members’ Forum meeting and Annual Business Meeting at Broadway House in London. It was fantastic to be joined by so many members (despite the trains from the north trying their hardest to keep us apart!).  The theme of the meeting was NHS Charity and Trust: working hand in hand. The three key areas of the Association’s mission is to support our members to be high functioning charities, add great value to their Trusts and be key strategic partners. The Members’ Forum focused on the opportunities NHS Charities have to accomplish this. Speakers included Emma Easton, Head of Voluntary Partnerships at NHS England, who presented on the voluntary sector’s role in implementing the NHS Long Term Plan and the potential for NHS Charities within that. Patrick Boggon, Director, Tarnside Consulting and Alan Downey and Debra Thornton, South Tees Hospitals Charity who spoke about ‘Unlocking potential – how a strategic review can give a new direction’; David Welch, CEO of Leeds Cares wowed us with the revolutionary developments at Leeds Cares since they became independent 2 years ago, including enabling an additional £75million into the Trust within that time frame. Lastly, Ian Lush, CEO of Imperial Health Charity and I spoke about the opportunities to raise the profile of your NHS Charity and celebrate the birthday of the NHS through the NHS Big Tea. All presentations are available on the members area of our website and contact details of the speakers are either on the slides or in our members directory should you wish to contact them.

Our ABM was partly business as usual with the addition of 3 big developments for this year: Incorporation, re-branding and the request for additional pump-priming contribution for our larger members. There was a presentation on our achievements so far in 2019 which includes the increase of membership 135, 99 members participating in the Financial Comparison Survey which is the highest, 100 members signed up and included in the NHS Big Tea, over 500 email enquir’es received and responded to since January alone and a brand new website to be launched next month. Not bad for a team of 2!!

To that end it also great to welcome Jen Emeny-Green our new Business Development Manager who started last week and Seb Hargreaves our new Membership Support and Development Manager who starts in 2 weeks, to the meeting.

I also presented our exciting and ambitious goals for 2020 and 2021 and how we hope to resource this with additional support and voluntary contributions from our members with an income of £1 million and over. These slides are also on the website and a written letter and proposal from the Chair, Colin Maclean OBE, will be sent to members.

Increasing our digital resources to best support our members implement and follow charity best practice is a large part of this, but so also is raising the profile of NHS Charities. In a recent survey undertaken on our behalf by JC Decaux, 2 out of 3 UK adults could not name an NHS Charities.  The Association is set on changing that with our members. Re-branding this summer to NHS Charities Together and increasing our nationwide campaigns, such as the NHS Big Tea, and high level partnerships is central to this.

To do this we need your continued and hugely appreciated support and skin in the game: both practically and financially.

“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi

(and a great Association!!)

Have a great weekend.

Ellie Orton

Chief Executive

Association of NHS Charities



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