Our History

The Last 25 Years of The Pituitary Foundation

  • 23 Nov 1994

    National Launch

    National Launch

    When The Foundation was first launched, the office was housed in the Society of Endocrinology in Bristol. It was started by Prof Stafford Lightman, Chairman; Prof John Wass, Trustee; Sue Thorn, Secretary; Gail Weingartner, National Co-ordinator; Lisa Nock, Administrator.

  • 1996

    First issue of Pituitary News

    First issue of Pituitary News
  • 1996

    Local Support Groups launch throughout the year

    Newcastle on 6 March; Bristol on 20 March; Portsmouth on 22 March; Manchester on 30 March; Leeds on 2 May; Liverpool on 22 June; Birmingham on 28 September; Suffolk on 19 November and Stoke-on-Trent on 12 December.

  • 1997

    DI Toilet Access Card produced

  • 9 October 1997

    First AGM

    Held in London

  • 1 Feb 1998

    Move to Colston Street office

  • 18 April 1998

    First National Conference

    It was held at the British Aerospace Welfare Association in Bristol. There were 313 delegates and 20 speakers who attended, and it was followed by an AC Training Day.

  • 1998

    More LSG's Launched

    Doncaster 9 March; Salisbury 12 February; Ireland 25 April; Cornwall; Cheshire; Dumfries & Galloway; Leicester; Northern Ireland.

  • 1998

    Email communication is launched

    1250 people respond to the Adult Growth Hormone questionnaire and thus E-mail communication with The Foundation is launched.

  • 1999

    Members

    There were 5840 members by the end of February, and 7,000 members by the end of the year.

  • 1999

    Lottery Grant

    The Foundation was awarded a Lottery Grant of £166,695 for three years.

  • 18 October 1999

    Pat McBride joins The Foundation

    Pat McBride joins The Foundation
  • 13 November 1999

    Second National Conference

    Held at the University of Manchester, 432 people attended.

  • More LSG Launched

    Teesside 26 May; Tayside August; Hull & E Riding 11 September; Kent 18 November. By Spring, there are 32 Local Support Groups.

  • 2 February 2000

    Steering Group

    The Steering Group (StG) is formed and held their first meeting in Birmingham.

  • 2000

    GP Factfile is published

    GP Factfile is published
  • Pituitary Carers Support Project

    Pituitary Carers Support Project is launched with grant from the Department of Health.

  • 2000

    Website is launched

    Youlie Giovanovits does the majority of the work.

  • 2001

    Start of the NICE growth hormone submission

  • 2001

    Website received over 10,000 hits since starting

  • 2001

    Raising money

    30 members raise over £10,000 doing giant zip slide down Avon Gorge!

  • 7 April 2001

    Third National Pituitary Conference

    Held at Aston University, Birmingham – followed by an AC In Touch Day.

  • 2002

    Grant Awarded

    The Foundation was awarded a grant by the Community Fund for a 3-year Early Awareness Project.

  • 23 November 2002

    Fourth National Conference

    Held at Hallam University, Sheffield.

  • January 2003

    Andrew Hewitt becomes chairman

    He takes over from Prof. Stafford Lightman

  • 2003

    Second NICE appeal lodged

  • 2004

    First edition of Pituitary Life

    First edition of Pituitary Life
  • 2005

    Pituitary Patients’ Charter issued to members

  • 3 September 2005

    Sixth National Pituitary Conference

    Edinburgh

  • January 2006

    Terry Lloyd becomes chairman

    He takes over from Andrew Hewitt

  • 27-29 April 2006

    Seventh National Pituitary Conference

    Held in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands.

  • Sept 2006

    New website launched

  • 4 November 2006

    First Regional Conference

    Held at the Royal Holloway, Surrey.

  • 2007

    Pituitary News is incorporated into Pituitary Life

  • 2007

    New logo and brand colours launched

    A glossy Pituitary Life is issued incorporating new logo and colours.

  • 2008

    Alison Milne appointed as Endocrine Specialist Nurse for Helpline

    Alison Milne appointed as Endocrine Specialist Nurse for Helpline
  • 2009

    Pituitary Awareness Week

    15 years, 15,000 letters

  • 2010

    Springtime Tea fundraising launched

  • 2010

    Menai Owen-Jones joins as Fundraising Manager

    Menai Owen-Jones joins as Fundraising Manager
  • 2011

    Petition for an easier emergency hydrocortisone device

  • April 2011

    Jenny West becomes chairman

    She takes over from Terry Lloyd

  • 2011

    Pituitary Life gets redesigned

    Pituitary Life gets redesigned
  • 2011

    The Foundation joins Facebook

    The Foundation joins Facebook
  • Sept 2011

    Menai is appointed Chief Executive Officer

  • 2011

    October is designated Pituitary Awareness Month

  • October 2011

    Pituitary Awareness Month

    Pituitary Awareness Month
  • 5 November 2011

    National Pituitary Conference

    Held in Sheffield

  • Awarded the DoH Information Standard Quality Mark

  • 2011-2012

    8,000 booklets sold

    This averages at 21 booklets a day!

  • 2012

    Volunteer e-Bulletin Spotlight

    Cardiff LSG was the first to be featured in the spotlight LSG section in the first volunteer e-bulletin

  • July 2012

    Pit Life gets redesigned again

    Pit Life gets redesigned again
  • October 2012

    Martin Cookson joins The Foundation

    Martin Cookson joins The Foundation
  • 2012

    Hydrocortisone and Diabetes Insipidus awareness cards introduced

  • January 2013

    Jay Sheppard joins The Foundation

    Jay Sheppard joins The Foundation
  • February 2013

    Participated in Rare Disease Day for the first time

  • 27 April 2013

    The National Pituitary Conference

    Held in Birmingham

  • May 2013

    Mike Crawshaw becomes a celebrity Fundraising Ambassador

    Mike Crawshaw becomes a celebrity Fundraising Ambassador

    Heartthrob Mike, as many of you will know, is part of leading vocal harmony group “The Overtones”. Mike was introduced to the charity in 2013 when he took part in the zip slide event that The Foundation organised at Chepstow.

  • May 2013

    New website launched

  • 2013

    iCortisol app released

    iCortisol app released

    iCortisol is an app created by The Pituitary Foundation, in collaboration with a small software company, Existential Ltd, for anyone who takes replacement hydrocortisone.

  • 2013

    The Foundation joins Twitter

    @pituitary_org 

  • October 2013

    800 hard copies of two new informative educational posters were distributed

    Electronic copies reached over 10,000 people for October’s Awareness Month. 

  • 2013-2014

    2702 publications in total were distributed to hospitals

  • 2014

    The Foundation's 20th Anniversary!

    The Foundation's 20th Anniversary!
  • 2014

    Charity of the year partnership with Severn Bay Corporate Solutions AND Bradley's Estate Agents

  • Feb 2014

    Stephen Campbell Moore becomes a celebrity ambassador

    Stephen Campbell Moore becomes a celebrity ambassador

     Stephen Campbell-Moore is an actor who made his screen debut in Stephen Fry’s Bright Young Things.

  • 2014

    New post–surgery fact sheet

    Alison Milne, the endocrine specialist nurse at the time, produced an informative and patient-friendly fact sheet for patients who are about to have pituitary surgery.

  • 7 November 2014

    Alison Milne wins Helpline Employee of the Year Award

    Alison Milne wins Helpline Employee of the Year Award

    Endocrine Specialist Nurse, Alison Milne, was awarded 1st prize in this category, at the 2014 Helplines Awards.

  • 8 November 2014

    National Pituitary Conference

    London

  • 2014-2015

    Legacy

    In the financial year 2014-2015, The Foundation was left a generous legacy that allowed the staff to expand from 7 members to 12.

  • 2015

    Emergency hydrocortisone refusal letter introduced

  • Oct 2015

    'Get Red Flagged' Awareness Month

  • 16 November 2015

    Sammy Harbut joins The Foundation

    Sammy Harbut joins The Foundation

    Cushing’s patient Sammy joined as Patient & Family Services Coordinator 

  • 2015

    Team Pituitary at the London Marathon contributed in excess of £50,000

    At that point, this was the largest amount raised for any single fundraising event in our charity’s history

  • March 2016

    Gabrielle Welland joins The Foundation

    Gabrielle Welland joins The Foundation
  • April 2016

    Sian Pitman joins The Foundation

    Sian Pitman joins The Foundation

    Assistant Administrator

  • April 15-17 2016

    Attending the first WAPO Summit

    Attending the first WAPO Summit

    Sammy attended the first World Summit of the World Alliance of Pituitary Organisations (WAPO) in Amsterdam, representing The Foundation.

  • April 23 2016

    National Pituitary Conference

    Held in Leeds

  • July 2016

    Rotary Charity of the Year

    Milton Keynes Grand Union Rotary Club President Susan Jackson chose us as the charity of the year.

  • October 2016

    Awareness Month: Optician awareness campaign

    Reached 2750 different opticians clinics.

  • 15 October 2016

    Masquerade Ball

    Masquerade Ball

    250 guests attended the London event

  • 2016-2017

    109 new patients and families were introduced to Local Support Groups through our helplines

  • April 2017

    Volunteer training

    Held in Bristol. 

  • 22 June 2017

    Pituitary webinars launched

    Cushing’s 22 June (Prof John Newell-Price)
    Acromegaly 27 July (Prof Peter Trainer)

  • July 2017

    Text Helpline service launched

  • 25 November 2017

    National Pituitary Conference

    Held in Birmingham.

  • May 2018

    First acromegaly focus group

    We organised our first acromegaly patient focus group, with thanks to funding by Pfizer.

  • July 2018

    1 million sessions on our website

    We hit this for the first time! As well as reaching over 12,500 likes and follows on social media 

  • 2017 - 2018

    Published 3 new publications

    Colonoscopy factsheet, Your Pituitary Infant and Your Pituitary Child. This brings our total number of publications up to 37. 

  • January 2018

    Tom Sumpster becomes Chair of Trustees

     Tom Sumpster becomes Chair of Trustees

    He takes over from Jenny West

  • August 2018

    Miranda Payne joins The Foundation

    Miranda Payne joins The Foundation

    Fundraising & Office Administrator 

  • 2018

    Reached 140 volunteers

    This is an increase of 30% from the year before, and brings our total number of members up to 2,277.

  • October 2018

    Megan Foster Flaherty joins The Foundation

    Megan Foster Flaherty joins The Foundation

    Patient & Family Services Administrator

  • 12 November 2018

    Pauline Whittingham joins as our new Endocrine Nurse

    Pauline Whittingham joins as our new Endocrine Nurse
  • 1st January 2019

    The 25th year of The Pituitary Foundation

    This website launched, along with all of our anniversary celebrations 

  • 27 April 2019

    National Pituitary Conference

    National Pituitary Conference
  • 27 April 2019

    Gala Dinner

    Gala Dinner

    Celebrating the 25th anniversary in Bristol