Knitting program gets communities engaged

Guardian Pharmacy says the first month of its annual Knitting for Good 2019 campaign has been a success, following an immediate and significant rise in pharmacy participation and involvement

Now in its 21st year, Guardian Pharmacy’s Guardian Angel knitting program has during the course of its lifetime provided more than two million knitted garments for those facing hardship each winter.

Continuing its successful partnership with the St Vincent de Paul Society (Vinnies), the campaign calls on Australians to put their knitting skills to good use in a bid to provide each of the 116,000 Australians experiencing homelessness with warm winter wear.

Guardian says the continued success of the program and its mission to give back to the community demonstrate that its community pharmacy proposition not only resonates with communities, but with like-minded pharmacy owners.

In addition to a general uptake in pharmacy participation and involvement, the communication and support pack provided for the campaign has resulted in their highest engagement rate in the history of the campaign, with local pharmacists reporting their local knitters enquiring after the program long before this year’s campaign commencement.

General Manager of Retail, Brian Tomlin, said his team was proud to continue the partnership with Vinnies and be part of a wider initiative that continues to help Australians in need.

“The continuing partnership with Vinnies has taught us homelessness doesn’t discriminate – it affects people of all ages and backgrounds, so we’re proud to be part of communities who come together and support those who need it most,” Mr Tomlin said.

From a wider retail perspective, Mr Tomlin emphasised the importance Guardian Pharmacy places on not only understanding that pharmacy owners have unique connections with their local communities but that they often require support to continue engaging their community in tangible ways.

“The Guardian Angels program is a unique retail support program in that it provides pharmacy owners with the tools to implement a community-minded corporate social responsibility initiative and engage their communities accordingly,” Mr Tomlin said.

“Guardian Pharmacies operate in close-knit communities therefore practical, community-minded solutions to building customer and staff engagement are paramount for business success; the consistent engagement results we see on the program are a testament to that.”

The Guardian Angels knitting program is part of the pharmacy’s wider community centric support services including the Guardian Club rewards program, medicine home delivery and in-pharmacy health checks across a range of conditions.

The successful campaign follows a strong first quarter for Guardian, with the pharmacy group recently taking out Roy Morgan’s Pharmacy of the Month for the third consecutive month in March 2019.

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