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.
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 over £18 million meaning that Macmillan can make a difference to many peoples’ lives.
Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists
Over 2,000 Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists, who have volunteered to receive bespoke training, are available to offer advice on living with cancer from a trusted high street location. A Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacist is a Boots Pharmacist who has had extra training, developed by Macmillan and Boots. The training helps them to under the needs of people living with cancer, which may not just be medical. They can also guide to specialist sources of information and support. 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.
Graham Pickup, Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacist comments: 'The main reason why I decided to do the Macmillan training was to increase my knowledge, since at some time in your life the chances are that cancer will affect you or someone with whom you are acquainted. Concerns can relate to a whole variety of different issues, obvious ones are things like side effects relating to the medication they’re taking. How is the medication working, what impact is it going to have when the treatment’s been finished and also help with some of the emotional issues that may develop. It’s a privilege to undertake this role, to know that you’ve helped someone, maybe in just some small way but that can make a big difference to people’s lives.'.
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 1,100 No7 Advisors trained to support people living with cancer.
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.”