What Is ChariTEA?
We choose a new ChariTEA (Charity - see what we did there!) every quarter which is close to our hearts. The ChariTEA is nominated by one of our Teabirds, they then choose a tea blend that reflects them or what they support & we donate the profits of the blend to their wonderful cause!
This quarter (Jan-Mar 2024) our chosen ChariTEA is 'The RCN Foundation' - a charity that supports nurses, midwives & healthcare assistants in the UK by fundraising & providing grants for the healthcare sector. They were nominated to Georgina, our Partnerships Manager, by someone at Aardman, during work on our Wallace & Gromit blend!
A little bit about the RCN Foundation
The RCN Foundation supports nurses, midwives, & healthcare support workers at every stage of their journey, & you don't have to be an RCN member to access our support.
We offer a range of education grants to further develop your skills & hardship grants to support you in times of need. We promote excellent patient care by funding education & professional development opportunities for nursing & midwifery teams. We also fund innovative nursing & midwifery-led research projects that aim to improve the health & wellbeing of the public.
“I was brought here on earth to be a nurse. Coming all the way from Jamaica & being the first in my family to go to university, I couldn’t be prouder & will always wear it as a badge of honour. Here I am now as a registered nurse, & it feels almost like an out-of-body experience – I almost can’t believe it but I absolutely love it.”
Crystal, was a nursing associate when she applied for funding & was awarded an RCN Foundation education grant to support her study towards a degree in Adult Nursing. She is now a qualified nurse working in the ICU at Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
“Getting the hardship grant has given us a light to look forward to at the end of a very dark tunnel."
An estimated 75,000 nursing & midwifery staff can't make ends meet despite being in work. In 2022 alone, over 40,000 nurses left the profession - the highest leaving rate in a decade. We are now facing the frightening prospect of a world without enough nurses.
We provided a hardship grant to Lily, a qualified nurse working full time. Lily is a single mother to two young children & was made homeless through a no-fault eviction when her landlord decided to sell. They spent months sleeping in safe houses & hotels, moving frequently & were miles away from Lily’s work & her children’s schools. Lily & her children have now moved into their forever home & the hardship grant that we provided allowed them to buy carpets & white goods.
Our hardship grants are funded entirely by donations from the public & without these donations, we wouldn’t be able to support nurses like Lily, & help keep them in the profession that they love.
Learning disability nursing is a key priority at the RCN Foundation. People with a learning disability have worse health than people without a learning disability & are more likely to experience a number of health conditions as a result.
During the first wave of the pandemic, people with learning difficulties were up to six times more likely to die from COVID-19. It became clear that accessible information about the virus to those at high risk was urgently needed. We worked with NHS England, & the charity Beyond Words, to develop illustrated resources carefully designed to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities.
The first resource, Beating the Virus, was published by Beyond Words in 2020 & provided visual guidance about how to keep safe during the pandemic.
The second resource, Encouraging COVID-19 Vaccinations, was published by Beyond Words in 2021 & provided reassurance on getting vaccinated.
The third resource, Having a Vaccine, was published by Beyond Words in 2023 & aims to support people with learning disabilities to understand the importance of vaccines & make informed decisions about their health.
How can you help?
The easiest way to support is to buy Deep Breaths tea or donate a cuppa at the checkout, but there are lots of other things you can do to help The RCN Foundation out.
You can help spread the support by sharing posts on social media or donating.
We will have message boards in store where you can leave messages for you to leave messages of support for nurses, along with offering a free cup of tea to all NHS workers on the 17th of February (Random Act of Kindness Day!).