Pharmacist Support expands counselling service with funding from Boots

Pharmacist Support – the profession’s independent charity – is delighted to announce an expansion of its partnership work with Boots UK. Following a successful coaching pilot in 2017, both Boots UK and Pharmacist Support have shared an aspiration to develop this work further to reach more of those in the profession who are encountering difficult times. A survey in 2016 of Boots Pharmacists Association (BPA) members highlighted a need for a service that helped them to help themselves, build resilience and enable them to find solutions to problems and to deal with emotional distress. Boots funded the charity to carry out a coaching pilot. This offered individuals access to six 1:1 hour long sessions with a trained coach focused on work-related and personal issues, including dealing and negotiating with colleagues, building resilience, assertiveness and confidence as well as managing stress and anxiety. The pilot was extremely well received with clients reporting that the coaching had “improved all areas of my life”, that the sessions had “taken me from a place of fear to one of optimism and belief” and had helped “me work out which tasks were the most important to me… and how to break them down into achievable steps”. Speaking of this new development, Pharmacist Support Chief Executive, Danielle Hunt, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Boots is supporting the charity to explore ways to expand our coaching work, allowing us to support more pharmacists across Great Britain. As the profession’s independent charity, we encounter daily the struggles those in the profession are facing which means we are well placed to develop solutions that empower an individual to make choices that lead to positive change and personal growth. In a time that continues to be challenging for the profession, it is crucial the charity works in partnership with organisations such as Boots to tackle head on the issues facing pharmacists, trainees and MPharm students today. It is down to donations such as this one that allow us to continue to make a difference.” Marc Donovan, Chief Pharmacist at Boots UK, said: “These are challenging times both for the pharmacy profession and the population as a whole and Boots is keen to ensure there is support available for all pharmacists to help them manage the stresses faced. The company has been working with Pharmacist Support on a range of wellbeing projects for a number of years now and the next phase in this partnership is the development of coaching resources that we hope will be available to all pharmacists. We’re delighted to be able to help Pharmacist Support take this project forward through our donation.” Pharmacist Support is about to conduct some market research that will inform both this project and the charity’s new strategy, details of which will be announced later in the year.

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