This week we celebrated International Friendship Day on 30th July, a day set apart annually to promote friendship and the people we cherish in our lives.

United Nations’ website says, “Through friendship — by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust — we can contribute to the fundamental shifts that are urgently needed to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good.”

The Association of NHS Charities was founded on these values of mutual support and camaraderie, the value of friendship and togetherness. This is the influence and vision behind our re-brand to NHS Charities Together. A name that demonstrates our members commitment to increasing their impact on and enhancement of patient care and experience by working together.

Our new website is a great place to demonstrate this. Our ‘news and blogs’ area highlights the wonderful work taking place through the country by our members raising vital funds to support the NHS. Do contact us with your stories.

The NHS Big Tea is another brilliant example of national friendship and our dedication to celebrating the NHS; enabling the country to come together, raise a cuppa and give back. We are currently collecting the data from the 100 charities who participated in our inaugural campaign. We will then shout the results from the roof tops. So, members, please do complete the NHS Big Tea survey (contact nhsbigtea@anhsc.org.uk for more details.) My sneak peak at the results so far are very exciting…. It would be great to have the full picture. We are very proud that #NHSBigTea was trending on twitter on 5th July and from the analytics we can announce we had over 355,000 impressions with an estimated reach of 210,000 people.

Raising the profile of NHS Charities is a key objective for NHS Charities Together and we are so grateful to our friends at Warwick Air Cadets for surviving a very wet and muddy weekend at The Game Fair last weekend, running the ‘Shop and Drop’ facility in aid of NHS Charities Together. Very nice to be visited from celebrity chef James Martin as well.

We are really looking forward to being at Expo 2019 at the beginning of September, officially launching our re-brand to NHS Charities Together and hosting a Pop Up University session on Thursday 5th September focusing on how NHS Charities support the NHS Long Term Plan.

NHS Charities are very special friends of the NHS, dedicated to enabling the NHS to go above and beyond what it can do with taxpayers money alone, devoted to supporting NHS staff and the amazing work they do, investing in innovation and research, championing patient care and experience, and boosting our health care environment.

But this is a two-way relationship, with the majority of NHS Trusts responsible for their charity. As we shine a light on what NHS Charities are doing to support the NHS deliver the Long Term Plan; we are also posing questions about how NHS Trusts are supporting their charity. Is the friendship reciprocal?

“You can always tell a real friend: when you’ve made a fool of yourself he/she doesn’t feel you’ve done a permanent job.” – Laurence J. Peter

Ellie Orton

Chief Executive, NHS Charities Together