The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries lies at the heart of the early foundations of modern-day medicine and remains an important, active and innovative medical institution today. Our Faculty of Conflict and Catastrophe Medicine trains doctors, dentists, nurses and other health professionals who want to work in conflict and catastrophe environments.
Like many of you, we’re shocked and saddened by the images of the people of Ukraine taking refuge in underground shelters, fleeing from war and leaving behind destroyed homes and health facilities. We’re proud of the work done by conflict and catastrophe professionals, but again, like so many people, are left with the question ‘what can we do to help?’.
It has been heartening to see the humanitarian response to events in Ukraine from across the UK, Europe and all over the world. The challenge right now is to ensure that such a response is well directed, and that the resources donated are relevant, appropriate and can be efficiently delivered.
Course Director Stephanie Simmonds OBE explains how you can help to ensure that the support given to the people of Ukraine, whether they have remained in the country or have become refugees in neighbouring nations, is what they need.
What to donate to people in Ukraine
One of the most useful donations right now, is a financial one.
The giving of donations of medicines, equipment and items such as clothing are worthwhile, but such donations cost money to transport. Goods such as these need safe storage on arrival and the time and resource of people at the receiving end to sort and distribute.
Priorities can change rapidly over time, and a financial donation to a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) can enable them, and their local counterparts, to spend depending on their top priority at the time. Unless items are very specialised, goods can be bought locally, which will also help the economies of other countries that are supporting Ukrainian refugees.
Similarly, a financial donation to the UN, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), will enable them to spend the money on appropriate supplies from an agreed supplier at the best price.
Who to donate to, to help people in Ukraine
In the UK, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is an experienced, well-trusted route for financial donations. The DEC is made up of 15 member charities who are experts in humanitarian aid and specialise in different areas of disaster response.
The DEC uses a formula to allocate funds between the charities according to their capacity to help, with the charities then delivering aid directly, or through trusted partners. For example, the British Red Cross, one of the 15 member charities, works through the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva as well as through the local Ukrainian Red Cross and Red Cross teams in eight nearby or neighbouring countries.
If you are wanting to make sure that your donation is only spent on health and health-related supplies, or on humanitarian health personnel, then you can make a direct donation to the British Red Cross or any of the other NGOs affiliated with the DEC that work in the health sector.
We support students in financial distress through no fault of their own at every medical school in England and Wales, and at some schools of pharmacy. The Society was able to grant 36 awards of £2,000 in 2021 to support medical students.
Other minor grants are given to City of London and related charities. We do not usually accept unsolicited requests for support.For more information about how to support The Master’s Fund, please click here.
New collections grant scheme The Friends of the Archive at the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries will award up to 4 grants each year, each of £250, to support researchers to use the Society’s collections. The grants are intended to encourage researchers to use the collections either as the main focus of their project, or as […]
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