Boots and Macmillan: Working together to improve the lives of people living with cancer
Here at Boots we are at the heart of the nation’s healthcare needs, whether it’s through the simple provision of plasters or in supporting customers and patients with more serious health issues, like diabetes, asthma and cancer. We’ve been working with Macmillan Cancer Support since 2009 to ensure that everyone across the UK, personally or indirectly affected by cancer, can access the best cancer information and support in their local community.
We want to have a positive impact on the lives of those affected by cancer by giving them what they need at the right time. Our partnership with Macmillan means we have been able to significantly increase the amount of cancer information and support we can give to our customers in accessible and trusted high street stores, in the community, as well as online.
A few years ago Boots customers and colleagues voted for Macmillan to be our national charity partner because so many people have been touched by cancer or have had their lives improved through the support of Macmillan. The partnership is another way we can show our commitment to providing excellent customer care and there are plenty of ways we’ve been getting involved – and lots of highlights to share.
Through the efforts of thousands of colleagues, customers, suppliers, and partners we have raised more than £15 million meaning that Macmillan can make a difference to many peoples’ lives.
Some of our biggest achievements
Here are four big examples that we are proud to share:
Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists
- Since September 2012 we’ve trained more than 2,200 of our pharmacists to be Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists.
- Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists are Boots pharmacists who have volunteered to receive bespoke training to support people affected by cancer. By improving access and connecting people to Macmillan information in Boots stores we will support them, and their loved ones, at every stage of their cancer journey and beyond, in a familiar environment.
Kim Baker, Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacist comments: For people affected by cancer, there can be times when they need to access additional information and support. Community pharmacy can be an accessible and convenient port of call for this information in a trusted environment. As Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists we can offer additional guidance on the wider issues that affect those living with cancer and not just those relating to medicines. Whether it’s financial concerns, questions about travelling abroad or speaking to loved ones about their illness, people can now talk to a Boots UK pharmacist who can connect them to the Macmillan services they need. Based on the conversations I have had with customers affected by cancer, talking things through can make a real difference and can have a positive impact on their lives and the lives of their family and friends. When people stop their treatment they often find that interaction stops, they are on their own. There are lots of people who don't know where to turn to for help. When I have spoken to people about what support is available they have been so grateful.
Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors
We spoke to over 100 women undergoing chemotherapy and over three quarters stated that the visible side effects of cancer treatment negatively affected their confidence and more than two thirds, did not know how to disguise them. So in 2013, we introduced the role of the Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisor.
Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors are No7 Advisors that have undertaken voluntary training developed by Boots and Macmillan to support patients experiencing the visible effects of cancer treatment. They can offer advice on a range of areas from defining sparse eyebrows and eyelashes to minimising dark circles as part of a greater understanding of the needs of people affected by cancer.
There are currently over 800 No7 Advisors trained, complementing the work of our Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists.
In January 2014, 60 colleagues from across the Boots Support Office and Stores set off on a challenge of a life time to climb Kilimanjaro. Together they raised more than £404,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Neil Jones, CSR Manager, Boots UK, said: “It was a fantastic team experience, where everyone really pulled together both during the trek and in preparations and fundraising efforts beforehand. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was one of the toughest physical challenges that most of us had ever faced and finally reaching the summit was such an incredible and emotional experience. Knowing the difference that our fundraising could make to peoples’ lives gave us the motivation and determination to carry on.”