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Giving back and feeling good

Tamara Gervasoni reflects on the hidden power of giving as we see in a New Year.

As the old year makes way for a new one, lots of us are setting resolutions – things we’d like stop doing, start doing, or even just change a little bit. It’s a time of hope, fresh starts and doing things that will make a difference.

The quiet period around New Year also gives us with time to reflect back on the past 12 months. What felt good, and therefore worth doing more of? And what new actions can we make room for in 2023?

Wellbeing and giving

We all know giving helps others, whether we volunteer in our free time, offer emotional support to those around us, or donate to charities. And at times like this, as daily life becomes a struggle for more and more people, helping others is more important than ever.

The warm, fuzzy feeling that follows an expression of care is nature’s way of looking after us as we look after others. Research in psychology shows that giving boosts physical and mental health, and that people who help others tend to experience less depression, lower stress levels, and greater satisfaction.

Help those who help others

Here at the RCN Foundation, our donors know that their support gives nurses, health care support workers and midwives a much-needed boost as they work on the frontline of healthcare in the UK.

The funds that make up our hardship grants in particular have a huge impact on the lives of individuals who help others. A lot of healthcare staff now have to rely on food banks and council housing to survive.

Our hardship grants give nursing sector staff a little bit of financial relief, and are a reminder that their work in service of others is not forgotten. In 2022, we awarded hardship grants to more than 600 individuals – but demand still outstrips what we are able to supply.

If you would like to support the RCN Foundation in 2023, here are some simple ways to do so:

  • Set up a monthly donation – as little as £3 a month makes a difference to a small charity like ours

  • Get fit and raise money all at once – sign up to do a 5k fun run in aid of the Foundation. Use your fundraising page to share the story of a particular nurse, or midwife, or care assistant who you find inspiring!

  • Fundraise on Facebook – set up a fundraiser on your birthday to make it easy for friends and family to get in on the buzz of giving to a good cause.

Whether you support the RCN Foundation, or another charity that holds special meaning to you, your workplace may have a ‘give-back’ scheme in place that makes donating from your salary simple.

Wherever you give your time, money, or attention this year, you will make a positive difference to somebody’s life. That feeling is difficult to capture in words, but it’s good for the soul. And it makes for a very happy new year!

If you would like to chat about making a donation to the RCN Foundation, send an email to me at