Pharmacist raises over £8k through charity trainee webinars
A pharmacist has used his business to raise more than £8,000 over the past year and to set up a new charitable organisation.
RevisePharma founder and pharmacist Zhyar Said has set up the PharmAssists Project using income from his business that supports trainee pharmacists with educational material, he told C+D this week (February 5).
Mr Said began by donating 10% of income generated by RevisePharma during Ramadan in March last year but from then onwards, he started charging trainees just £1 for his previously free webinars, he said.
So far, the PharmAssists Project has raised more than £8,000 through RevisePharma, with income donated to charities including Save the Children, Action for Children, Islamic Relief UK and Kyaninga CDC trust, he added.
He said that to date, all the donations have come via trainee pharmacists who have attended a live £1 RevisePharma webinar or as a percentage of RevisePharma sales.
But going forward, he hopes that the project will fundraise through “pharmacy-related activities”, such as attendance at educational events for pharmacists, as well as pharmacies giving donations.
Mr Said told C+D that the aim of the project is to “really put a spotlight on what pharmacists can do for the community when putting funds together”.
“For the people, for the community”
The project’s slogan - ‘for the people, for the community’ - reflects PharmAssists’ aim to address the needs of the community by providing necessities such as food, clothing, accommodation and other support, Mr Said told C+D.
So far, money has gone towards feeding families, building micro-dams to provide water, water sanitation products, supporting people facing poverty with household bills, school uniforms, midwife birthing kits, hygiene kits and teacher salaries in low-income countries, he said.
Mr Said also told C+D that he is currently applying for charity status, with the hope that PharmAssists could bring its impact “to a more local community” and take “a more hands-on approach” and “directly going out” to purchase necessities such as food, clothes and water.
“It would be great [for students] to show up to school and say, ‘this classroom’s new stationary was funded by pharmacists’,” Mr Said added.
“It would be a real example of how caring pharmacists can be as a profession,” he said.
Although charging £1 might not seem like a lot of money, Mr Said added that he raised around £4,700 in eight days during the build-up to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) exam by hosting nine events with 500 trainees each.
“This sort of money is so impactful and when people found out that they were a part of it, it was nothing but positivity,” he said.
“I would like to see us being able to raise £20,000 a year,” he added. “It’s nothing massive, but definitely impactful.”
“A great way to elevate our profession”
Mr Said added that while pharmacy professionals often do not receive “the credit that they deserve”, the PharmAssists Project “would be a great way to elevate [the] profession among the general public”.
“I wouldn't say that there is any compulsory need for pharmacy professionals to be doing this, but I do feel by nature that pharmacy professionals do try and do as much as they can for their community,” he said.
“Pharmacies already do a lot for the community for free - usually at the expense of the owner,” he added.
In November, C+D reported that a Manchester-based pharmacist had raised almost £90,000 to help provide aid in Gaza since the war broke out the previous month. The appeal has since reached a total of almost £120,000.