Pharmacist Support is an independent charity for pharmacists and their families, former pharmacists and pharmacy students in need. Our free and confidential support includes financial assistance, a stress helpline, debt, benefits and employment advice, a wellbeing service, addiction support and an information and enquiry service.
The charity has provided a lifeline to those who through circumstances often beyond their control – personal illness, disability or other life changing events - have required much needed help and assistance. This has been provided in many formats, on a short or long-term basis and is specifically tailored to the individual’s circumstances. Over the years the charity has been able to help people like Lucy:
Lucy is a community locum pharmacist. Following a year out of work due to illness, her husband Paul was finally diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer. At this point Paul began intensive chemotherapy treatment and Lucy quit her job to become a full time carer.
“I was in great need of advice and support in what were very pressured personal circumstances.
Pharmacist Support initially provided me with financial assistance as I had no income at all. I was also given direct assistance with debt and benefits advice which has been invaluable, as I would not have known how to cope with filling in, e.g. tax returns effectively or who to approach for benefits advice.
From a purely personal point of view, having access to a service like Listening Friends has sometimes felt like the only outlet I have for my personal anxieties and fears without worrying my own family more than they are already. They have helped and supported me as much as they could but sometimes it is better to talk openly to people who simply listen and aren’t directly connected to your day to day life – a bit like counselling.
Every time I’ve contacted the team at Pharmacist Support, I have been treated professionally and courteously and have never felt that I am being judged. Their kindness has been a comfort in what have been difficult and occasionally bleak times. Knowing there is somebody at the end of the phone who will help is a massive psychological benefit.”
Since the charity’s relaunch in 2008 Pharmacist Support (previously The Benevolent Fund) has seen demand for its services increase year on year. In 2013 we provided over 1500 individual acts of support to those in the profession. This included providing 164 individuals with financial assistance, making 261 Listening Friends calls to those struggling with a range of stressful situations and 189 referrals to specialist advisers at the Citizens Advice Bureau (who secured over a million pounds worth of gains for service users via state benefits, debt rescheduling/consolidation or write off and pay entitlements from employers). The biggest growth, however, was seen in the number of enquiries the charity received via telephone, email, online and Live Chat through the pharmacist support website - a 43% increase on 2012 figures.
In order to continue to provide this essential assistance the charity relies on the generosity of pharmacists, their relatives and pharmacy organisations. There are a number of ways you can support our work. By making a one-off donation, organising a fundraising event or leaving a gift in your will you can help your fellow professionals in their times of need.
Enquiry line: 0808 168 2233