In 3 weeks’ time, on 5th July, the NHS will be turning 71. We have a great party planned at Pure Offices in Warwick, the home of the Association HQ; in fact, Pure Offices all over the country will be celebrating the NHS’ birthday by raising a cuppa and holding NHS Big Tea parties. How are your Big Tea party plans going? Please do most of social media or email and let me know.

Yesterday we spent over an hour being battered by the great British weather on the top of St. George’s Hospital Helipad for a fantastic photo shoot and the media launch of the Big Tea. We were joined by Dr Ranj (resident doctor on ITV’s This Morning and Strictly Come Dancing star 2018), Charles Venn (best known for his roles as Ray Dixon in EastEnders, nurse Jacob Masters in Casualty, and fellow Strictly star with Dr Ranj), alongside the cast of Channel 4’s ‘24hrs in A&E’ (which is filmed at St. George’s) and Jacqueline Tottersell, CEO of hospital. Huge thanks to the Comms personnel at St George’s Trust and Charity – Pippa and Eimear, great to see Trust and Charity comms working hand in hand; Jack and Ed at Imperial Health Charity and Aysha, Media Relations Manager at NHS England. It’s amazing it all came together and thankfully no helicopter needed to land whilst Dr Ranj and Charles were serving us tea and soggy cake in the middle of the helipad. We have now started the social media push for trying to as many people as possible to hold celebrate the birthday of the NHS on 5th July with NHS Big Tea Parties.

I’ve also had a meeting with the internal communications personnel at NHS England and Improvement, with the hope that different teams based in the national offices will be celebrating the NHS birthday by raising cuppa and supporting NHS Charities too.

I’m also excited to confirm we will be speaking at NHS Expo 2019 on 5th September as well as having a presence in the exhibition area on 4th & 5th At our pop-up university session, I will be joined by Sarah Naismith, Director of Charities at University Manchester Hospitals’ Charity; Barbara Cathcart, CEO of Nottingham Hospitals’ Charity; Chris Burghes, CEO of The Royal Free Charity and Ian Lush, CEO of Imperial Health Charity. We will be talking about opportunities Trust’s have to implement the NHS Long Term Plan with support of their charities and sharing case studies from these 4 different charities, all wrapped up with a fantastic NHS Big Tea party. If you think it would be useful for personnel from your Trust hear about how different NHS Charities are supporting patients and enhancing their hospital’s opportunity in delivering the Long Term Plan, please do share this information with them. Date: Thursday 5 September, Time: 13:45 – 14:45, Location: PUU5, Session code: P5I.

We also be officially launching our change of brand, to NHS Charities Together at NHS Expo. Throughout the summer we will have more of a soft launch, as we become known as NHS Charities Together. This includes our new website should be ready to go live very soon, which will be the start of our new digital support for members and window into the wonderful world of NHS Charities for the public and other stakeholders.

Fun fact:

‘In Britain we drink 165 million cups of tea a day. That’s enough to fill about 20 Olympic swimming pools.’

Ellie Orton

Chief Executive

Association of NHS Charities