At this month’s Members’ Forum I had the pleasure of launching our brand new vision and strategy:

‘To inspire NHS Charities to be the nation’s biggest independent supporters of health and well-being’

Thank you to all our members who were able to be at the meeting and for participating in the afternoon groups discussing the first 3 of our 5 strategic objectives:

  1. We will be the number one source of support and development for NHS charities, promoting charity best practice, fostering mutual support and discussing matters of mutual interest
  2. We will be the authoritative voice for NHS charities to represent members’ views to key stakeholders and where possible to collaborate with them in pursuit of the Association’s vision
  3. We will promote the profile of NHS charities nationally
  4. We will ensure the Association is a financially sustainable organisation that develops its staff, ensuring it has the right skills and resources to achieve its 5 year strategy
  5. We will demonstrate the impact of the Association and of our members

Following the Association Council meeting this week, we will share the insights and feedback from the discussions on our website for members. It was an overwhelmingly positive and extremely useful event. As we move into a new phase for the Association, I am determined to keep listening to and learning from our members. Our membership is a diverse group, with some diverse opinions and views. But we are collective around two things:

  1. All want the very best care, provision, opportunity and education for health and wellness in our nation for the benefit of the people who reside here
  2. All work in ‘unique’ partnerships with NHS Trusts and bodies to do that

Collaboration in the pursuit of a shared vision isn’t about all doing the same thing or doing things in the same way. It’s about bringing our uniqueness, our strengths, our ‘A’ game and playing our role so that the benefits are experienced individually and collectively. The Association should be a ‘safe’ and collective space to express opinions and debate charitable and other relevant developments, at other times it is a shared platform to stand on, and others an umbrella to stand under, and still other times it’s a light that points in the right direction. Membership organisations are many things to many individual organisations and many individuals within those organisations.

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to share our new vision and strategy with the Charity Commission and have their support for our new developments. The Commission very much view the Association as the body that sets out and supports our members with charity best practice and as a collective voice for the benefit of NHS charitable objectives. The Charity Commission also supports our aims to raise the profile of NHS Charities through collective nationwide campaigns, highlighting the measured and evidenced different NHS Charities have on the health and well-being of our nation.  I also gained some clarity on our current understanding and working definition of ‘NHS Charities’ and the Commission’s definition of ‘patient benefit’, which is very helpful and I will share with you all soon.

I am very much looking forward to working with you all to bring about the new vision, mission and strategy of the Association.

‘Excitement comes for the achievement. Fulfillment comes from the journey that got you there.’ Simon Sinek

Ellie Orton

Chief Executive, Association of NHS Charities


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