RCN Foundation latest news

April 2019

Professor Jane Cummings CBE RN announced as new Chair of RCN Foundation Professor Jane Cummings CBE RN will take up her new role as Chair of the RCN Foundation board from 1 May 2019. Professor Cummings’ appointment follows the end of Robert Sowney’s term as the inaugural Chair of the charity. A nurse for nearly forty years, Professor Cummings has been a senior nursing leader for a number of years having worked in the Department of Health, Strategic Health Authorities and for NHS England. She was most recently the Chief Nursing Officer for England, a role she held for nearly seven years before retiring at the beginning of 2019.Professor Cummings is also a trustee of Macmillan Cancer Support and a clinical ambassador and clinical volunteer for the Over The Wall charity.Commenting on her appointment, Professor Cummings said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the new Chair of the RCN Foundation. I am passionate about nursing, midwifery and health care, and I am looking forward to continuing to champion these vital roles and professions in my new role. The RCN Foundation is a fantastic charity whose values very much align with my own. The charity has already achieved so much for nursing and patient care and I look forward to helping it develop and expand even further in the coming years.”


Professor Jane Cummings CBE RN announced as new Chair of RCN Foundation

Alumni Network 

The RCN Foundation is developing an Alumni Network for all grant recipients, past and present. The network will support individuals to develop and share their skills and knowledge beyond their grant period.

The Alumni Network will connect members who have common areas of interest and will encourage the exchange of ideas and provide opportunities to network and build professional and social networks.

The Alumni network will bring together clinical professionals to achieve collaboration, share learning and best practice and promote innovation leading to more nursing led research and practice development. In addition, the network will serve as a key avenue for individuals to disseminate their work and research.

If you would like to join the RCN Foundation Alumni Network please email: grants@rcnfoundation.org.uk     


Mental Health Research Tender

The RCN Foundation has developed a call for a scoping project that will identify the available evidence on nursing-led interventions that support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people. We particularly wish to focus on pre-crisis and early intervention. The scoping research will establish an evidence base for our grant-giving programme for the next three years.

The RCN Foundation is an independent charity and part of the RCN Group, supporting the nursing community to improve the health and well-being of the public. We do this by providing advice and grants to UK nurses, midwives and health care assistants facing hardship; education and career development grants to the nursing community; and funding nurse-led projects that aim to improve patient care.

The closing date for applications is 5.00pm on Thursday 31 January 2019. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

The full tender is available here

The full application form can be downloaded here

Project Grants  

Organisations wishing to apply for a project grant must request an application form from the Foundation by emailing: grants@rcnfoundation.org.uk

There are 4 application deadlines for 2019:
o 16 January 2019
o 10 May 2019
o 31 July 2019
o 16 October 2019

All applications must meet one of the Foundation’s priorities

Supporting the nursing community in times of need
• Self-care projects which focus on the health and wellbeing of the nursing team                                                                                                  

Funding nursing-led projects that improve patient care, health and wellbeing
• Care home nursing
• Mental health nursing and learning disability nursing
• Research and practise development projects
• Projects that respond to emerging and urgent nursing and healthcare issues

Increasing public understanding of the contribution nursing makes to society 
• Projects that increase public understanding of nursing  


Appointment of new Trustees

The RCN Foundation has appointed five new Trustees to its Board. The Trustees come from a wide range of backgrounds and include a former Director of Virgin Money and the Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Ireland.

The RCN Foundation is a national charity and grant-maker that aims to support and strengthen nursing to improve the health and wellbeing of the public. The charity provides hardship and education grants, and supports nursing-led projects that improve patient care. The charity has funded a number of projects covering issues such as dementia, mental health and care homes.

Together with the Royal College of Nursing, a trade union and professional body, RCNi, a media company providing up-to-date health care information for the nursing workforce, and RCN Hold Co, which provides personal injury and other legal services, the charity is part of the RCN Group.

Robert Sowney, Chair of the RCN Foundation said: “The new Trustees who are joining our Board bring a wealth of skills, experience and expertise from a wide range of backgrounds including charity governance, senior and frontline nursing, and managing investments. I am delighted that we will have such high calibre Trustees joining our Board. This is an important moment for the RCN Foundation. We have recently agreed a new three-year strategy through which we aim to increase our reach and impact. Our newly strengthened Board will ensure that we are well placed to achieve our ambitions to make a positive difference to nursing and patient care, both now and in the future.”

Details of the new Trustees:

Gordon Hull

Gordon has extensive commercial experience in the financial services sector, working for a wide range of leading consumer-focused businesses in executive roles. His most recent role was as Executive Director of Investments and Pensions for Virgin Money. He has extensive experience in strategy development, commercial management, digital development and investment governance for leading consumer-focused businesses.

Moya Kirmond

Moya is a trauma clinical research nurse in the NET Research Team at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. She is a previous recipient of an educational grant from the Foundation, She was given an RCN Foundation Impact Award in 2017 for the excellence of her funded work. Moya is also a winner of Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery award for highest overall academic achievement in the 2014 graduating class.

Rachel Lambert-Forsyth

Rachel is the Director of Membership and Professional Affairs at the Royal Society of Biology; Company Secretary for Charles Darwin House Ltd and a Panel Member on the Department of Education’s Healthcare Science Technical Panel. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB). Rachel has significant experience of governance and an excellent knowledge of the education landscape.

Charlotte McArdle

Charlotte is the Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Ireland. She has over 30 years of nursing experience and has worked in a number of senior roles. This includes as Director of Nursing for Primary Care and Older People for South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust in Belfast. Charlotte has specialist knowledge in nursing and nurse education, strategic planning, health and social care policy and impact measurement.

Atul Patel

Atul's career has spanned 30 years of working in housing, regeneration, and the public sector. He has worked in a number of senior roles including as Director of Regulation at The Housing Corporation, Deputy Director at the Cabinet Office Social Exclusion Unit and Chief Executive at LHA-ASRA Group. He has also held a number of non-executive roles including Chair of the Race Equality Advisory Group at the Department for Communities and Local Government, and a Trustee of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund. He was awarded MBE in the 2018 New Year Honours for services to heritage and the community in the East Midlands



Healthy Weight Initiative for Nurses (Published March 2017)

The RCN Foundation is joint-funding a partnership between C3, the RCN and London South Bank University that aims to increase understanding and reduce the prevalence of obesity among nurses in England. The project began in 2016 and will be running for two years. The project works directly with nurses to co-design interventions aimed at helping nurses to manage their weight. These interventions will be implemented and their effectiveness evaluated.

The early stages of the project included an evidence review, prevalence study and individual interviews.  The evidence review revealed that the most effective interventions are ongoing and use motivational techniques to encourage behaviour change and the prevalence study found that obesity amongst nurses is high – a quarter of all nurses have a BMI of 30 or over. Individual interviews with almost 200 nurses found that there is a high level of awareness of the problem of obesity among nurses and that there is also a high level of desire to lose weight among nurses. Nurses attributed weight issues to the impact of shift work on their eating patterns and the lack of breaks that increase the likelihood of snacking. 

The co-design process has begun with workshops of nurses facilitated by Uscreates, a design organisation for health and wellbeing settings. The interventions are designed in collaboration with nurses to ensure that they are practical and useful.  The project will produce three interventions to be piloted in three different settings, two NHS trusts– one mental health and community; and one acute setting and a third that could be used across a variety of  settings. 

For more information and to get involved please visit: https://www.c3health.org/win     


Launch of the RCN Foundation Wales Committee (Published March 2017) 

Prof. Jean White, Chief Nursing Officer for Wales launches RCN Foundation Wales Committee

We are pleased to announce the launch of the RCN Foundation Wales Committee. Professor Jean White, Chief Nursing Officer for Wales, launched the committee at the RCN Wales Leadership Summit on Wednesday 15 March in Cardiff. Robert Sowney, Chair of Trustees said this is an important milestone for the Foundation "This is a positive step towards ensuring that we can support even more people who need our help.  I want to thank Professor Jean White for launching the Wales Committee. I hope that her support sends a strong message to nursing professionals working in all parts of Wales that the RCN Foundation is here to support them" 

The Leadership Summit is one of the most high profile events in the RCN Wales calendar and we are grateful to RCN Wales for enabling this launch to happen during such an important event.

We are also delighted to announce the appointment of Denise Llewellyn as a Trustee of the RCN Foundation and first Chair of the Wales Committee. Our chair Robert Sowney commented " I am thrilled that Denise Llewellyn is joining us as a Trustee and first Chair of the Wales Committee. I am sure she will prove to be a great addition to the Board"  

The Wales Committee is our second country committee, with the Scotland Committee already established.  These committees will expand our work in each of the countries of the UK, and will develop effective networks of support in those countries for the work of the Foundation. 

Foundation at RCN Congress 2017 (Published March 2017)

The RCN Foundation will be attending RCN Congress 2017 in Liverpool from Saturday 13 to Wednesday 17 May.  

The Foundation will be exhibiting during the week on stand A10 where we will have exciting giveaways and some treats for you - just one way the Foundation is supporting the Nursing community.

On Saturday 13 the RCN Foundation Impact Awards will be held as part of the opening ceremony at RCN Congress. The awards are a celebration of impact achieved through the Foundations Bursary and Scholarship scheme recipients. We are delighted to announce that we will also be awarding the RCN Foundation Morag McEwan Bell Memorial Award for Outstanding Service in Palliative Care Nursing within Scotland. 

Our Fringe event will be a joint event with RCN Fellows and will take place on Sunday 14 May 2017, 17.45 and is titled: Developing a Skilled Nursing Workforce in Care Homes. 

On Monday 15 May, we will also be at Nursing Showoff which features nurses, students and health care workers using the medium of story-telling, stand-up, dressing-up and interactive fun to get you thinking about what nursing care means for providers and recipients.  Inspired by the Science Showoff chaotic cabaret series, Nursing Showoff brings together like-minded nursing souls in a safe environment to dare, share, and compare. It should be a great event, so come join us for the evening. To book your space visit https://www.rcn.org.uk/congress/agenda/nursing-showoff  tickets cost £5 with a donation to the Foundation. See you all there! 

For more information on Congress visit https://www.rcn.org.uk/congress  

Do Good and Feel AMAZING!

We couldn't continue our vital work without the people that support us. Join them today and raise money for the RCN Foundation. You will make a real difference to nursing today and the future.

There are plenty of challenges out there for you to take on! Available for you to download here. We thought we would highlight some of the most popular below.

By signing up to any of the below events, you will receive a free fundraising pack, including helpful ideas and tips, posters, balloons, stickers, sponsorship forms, t-shirt/vest and information leaflets on our work. You will also hear from one of our events team members to help guide your plans and support you with your event.

To find out more email rcnfoundation@rcn.org.uk  or call 020 7647 3622. Thank you! 


10-14 May London to Paris  

30 July -  Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 

30 August – 3rd September  London to Amsterdam 

Anytime A cycle challenge of your choice


01 May 2017 -  Belfast Marathon 

29 April & Various  Dates -   Tough Mudder 

28 May 2017 Rock’N’Roll Liverpool Marathon 

27- 28  May 2017 Edinburgh Marathon Festival 

29 May 2017 -   Vitality London 10k 

10 September 2017 -  Morrison’s Great North Run 

17 Sept Richmond Running Festival 

24 September 2017 -  Berlin Marathon 

01 October -  Cardiff Half Marathon 

08 October - Royal Parks Half Marathon 

10 October -  Great North Run

15 October -  Birmingham Marathon 

22 October - Great South Run 

29 October -  Dublin Marathon 

Anytime        A running challenge of your choice

Trekking and Walking

13 May /19 Aug / 07 Oct -  Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge 

27-28 May - London to Brighton Challenge 

1-2 July - Cotswold Way Challenge 

26-27 August - South Coast Challenge/ South Downs Way 

9-10 September - Thames Path Challenge London 


09 June 2017 -  Great North Swim 

24 June 2017 -  The Bantham Swoosh 

07- 09 July - Long Course Wales challenge events 

09 September 2017 -  Dart10k 

16 Sept 2017 - Swim Serpentine 

Contact the Events team for more information about taking part in any of these events or how to organise your own rcnfoundation@rcn.org 

Running for nurses in need - Published 20/02/2017

Lorna Mackenzie running the London Marathon 

Lorna has been a fitness fanatic for as long as she can remember and has participated in many races such as the Loch Ness Beast Race and marathons including New York. After a stint as a personal trainer, she decided to follow the healthcare path and become a nurse. Never regretted her decision as she loves what she does and is very passionate about nursing. Emergency Care is where she wishes to develop her professional career. 

In 2012 she was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect which went undiagnosed at birth – she suffered severe aortic regurgitation which meant she had to have an aortic valve replacement, resulting in open heart surgery at the Edinburgh Royal Hospital. The recovery wasn’t easy by any means. It was slow and she felt limited to what she could do. But this didn’t stop her from believing that she could one day get back into running. Through strength, determination, passion and support she got back to competing in running events soon after her operation. She still struggles and gets tired easily, feels breathless and in pain – but this doesn’t stop her -  she simply races and trains at her own pace and listens to her body. By undertaking this huge challenge, she wishes to inspire others who have gone through major operations like hers to get back out there, get fit and love life. In her own words “no matter what obstacle comes your way with determination, focus and commitment, the sky is the limit!” 

Lorna has chosen to support the RCN Foundation as her charity for this year’s London Marathon. She wants to ensure that the Foundation can continue to help nurses who are facing hardship and get the support they so badly need to get back on track. Keen to highlight our bursary scheme and our wish to improve public healthcare. She is determined to go beyond her £2,150 fundraising target and raise as much awareness as possible of the Foundations work.  

Please support however much or little you can on her justgiving page. Thank you  

Fund for Nurses in need - Published 14/12/15

Whilst we are rightly proud of the nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants who have shown the true spirit and dedication of the nursing community in the aftermath of storm Desmond, we are also seriously concerned for those who have been affected by the recent floods in Scotland and northern England.

Read more here

Foundation at Congress 2015- Published 17/06/15 

The RCN Foundation will be attending RCN Congress 2015- read about what we will be doing here 

Read more here 

Cavell Mountain Challenge- Published 29/05/15  

4 members of the RCN and RCN Foundation are undertaking the Cavell Mountain challenge to raise money for nurses in need 

Read more here 

 RCN Supporter runs Manchester 10k- Published 24/04/15

Long term Foundation supporter is embarking on the Morrison's Manchester 10k in support of the RCN Foundation, Sponsor her today!

Read more here 

RCN Foundation release York University research- Published 15/04/15

The RCN Foundation have released the research conducted by York University into nursing in care homes. The research funded by the Foundation will inform the Foundations Future project grants scheme

Read more here 

North West Region Practice Nurse Education Trust Fund- Published 7/04/15 

Are you a practice nurse?  Do you want to undertake further study or research and are looking for funds to help you?  If so, then the North West Region Practice Nurse Education Trust Fund may be able to help.

Read more here

Cavell Nurses Trust Awards- Published 31/03/15

The Cavell Nurses' Trust awards took place on the 1st April with the RCN Foundation sponsoring the Outstanding student Nurse award 

Read more here  

RCN Foundation supporters host fundraising comedy night- book now. - Published 12/03/15 

To celebrate international nurses day, RCN supporters will be hosting a fundraising comedy night 

Read more here 

The RCN Foundation and Florence Nightingale Foundation announce a continuation of their Travel Scholarships partnership. - Published 06.03.15

A partnership between the RCN Foundation and Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) was heralded in 2014 offering 10 Travel Scholarships of up to £5,000 each, over the three years to 2016.

Read more here  

Two RCN Foundation Bursary Schemes are open providing up to £5,000 in funding. -Published 25.02.15

Two RCN Foundation bursary schemes are now open for applications. The schemes fund members of the nursing team in an activity which will benefit patient care  

Read more here 


2015 Inside Out of Mind Tour Dates- Published 19.02.15

The RCN Foundation funded production of ‘Inside Out of Mind’ will start its 2015 Tour on Wednesday 18 February 2015 in Derby. The play, which the RCN Foundation supported with a project grant was the result of a study conducted in 2011 by Professor Justine Schneider and colleagues at the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham. 

Read more here 


Bursary for Nurses wishing to undertake communication course with Deaf patients- Published 17.02.15


Read more here  


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