NHS charities mark unprecedented public support at first in-person conference since COVID-19

On 18th May 2022
Categories: 2022

The network of 238 NHS charities will gather at our inaugural National Conference today, marking the first in-person meeting of the network since unprecedented support was shown by the public during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Around 250 delegates from across the UK are expected to attend the conference in person, with more joining virtually to mark the incredible achievements of NHS charities to support patients, staff and volunteers through the most challenging time in health service history, and work together to increase their collective impact.

Held across May 19th and 20th at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, guests will include representatives supporting acute and specialist hospitals, and mental health, community and ambulance services. They will be joined by keynote speakers; CEO of NHS Charities Together Ellie Orton OBE, Chair of the charity Ian Lush OBE, and Dr Neil Churchill OBE, Director for Experience, Participation and Equalities at NHS England and NHS Improvement.

During the pandemic, Dr Churchill led support for vulnerable individuals and groups who were impacted at the time. Previously a Non-Executive Director for the NHS in the South of England, he is himself an unpaid carer and volunteers for the NHS and for local charities.


Speaking ahead of the conference, Dr Churchill said: “It’s such a pleasure to be at the NHS Charities Together National Conference and meet with representatives from NHS charities across the UK who have provided brilliant support throughout the pandemic, and I cannot wait to thank them for their efforts in-person.”

“This conference provides an excellent opportunity for UK charities to share ideas and inspire each other so their work gets the spotlight it deserves, and I am grateful for NHS Charities Together for giving me the chance to discuss these topics and more as we reflect on the past few years and the people who helped protect us.”

In addition to a range of expert keynote speakers, the two-day conference for the UK’s NHS charities will include interactive workshop sessions and an exhibition of NHS charity achievements over the past two years, as well as a gala dinner with multi-award-winning writer, comedian and former doctor Adam Kay entertaining as speaker.

The conference is expected to focus on empowering the NHS charity sector to be high-performing, effective and impactful, in addition to celebrating the collective impact of NHS charities as one of the biggest voluntary health funders in the UK today.

Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive at NHS Charities Together, said: “NHS Charities Together is proud to be the membership body for NHS charities, which together give over £1million every day to the NHS so everyone can have better healthcare. Our NHS is amazing, but it can’t face every challenge alone, and the extra provision that NHS charities provide is more vital now than ever before.

“The NHS and its staff, including many of those joining us today, have been through so much over the last two years. It’s wonderful to have a chance to come together and reflect on this time, celebrate our collective achievements, and discuss how we can continue to support the NHS through this challenging period and beyond.”

To date we have allocated £143 million in funding across the network of NHS charities, providing the extra help needed in every hospital, health board, ambulance, community, and mental health trust across the UK.

This includes over 400 new projects dedicated to NHS staff – such as helplines, counselling, and dedicated psychological support for post-traumatic stress disorder – and vital patient focused initiatives like training for emergency responders, research into long Covid, and specialist equipment. We’ve also funded over 700 community partnership projects to tackle health inequalities and prevent ill health in the community, to help the NHS as it recovers from the most challenging time in its history.

Support our work

With the impact of Covid-19 on the NHS workforce and services that are busier than ever, NHS Charities Together needs to continue to be there for the people of the NHS. With your ongoing help, we can continue working with alongside NHS charities across the UK to provide much needed support for staff including counselling, helplines, and specialist psychological support.

Together, we can help the NHS go further.

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