As part of our unique place in the heart of communities across the UK, Boots has a role to provide for all our customer and patients’ needs, whether through providing sticking plasters or advice and support for more serious, long-term illnesses. Since 2009, the partnership between Boots UK and Macmillan Cancer Support has provided easily accessible specialist cancer information and support to thousands of people on the high street and online.
Our partnership aims to give everyone, everywhere, the best cancer information and support they need. Together we are doing whatever it takes to ensure people living with cancer have access to a trusted service in a place that’s reliable and familiar within their community. As of autumn, 2021, specialist cancer support can now be accessed at every Boots pharmacy in the UK. (subject to pharmacist availability).
This commitment to supporting our patients is why, for the third year running, Boots UK’s partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support has been voted the ‘Most-Admired’ Corporate NGO partnership in the C&E Barometer.
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How our partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support works
To support Macmillan through our partnership, Boots strives to improve the knowledge and skills of all its team members to raise awareness and understanding of cancer, its effects, and how to offer support to patients and customers.
Pharmacists and No7 team members can undertake bespoke training developed by Macmillan Cancer Support to become a Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacist (BMIP) or Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisor (BMBA).
All our team members also have access to interactive e-learning videos that provide guidance on listening, responding and signposting support for people living with cancer.
Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists
Our Pharmacists receive bespoke training developed by Macmillan to become Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists. This training, unique to Boots, enables the BMIP to better understand the needs of people living with cancer, which may not just be medical.
They are also able to guide customers and patients to specialist sources of information and support. By improving access and connecting people to Macmillan Cancer Support in Boots stores, we will support them and their loved ones at every stage of their cancer journey and beyond, in a safe and trusted environment.
As of autumn 2021, customers and patients can access a BMIP at every Boots store in the UK, making cancer support and advice more accessible than ever before.
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 around the side effects relating to the medication they’re taking, how the medication is 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. Graham, Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacist
Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors
In 2013, our own research speaking to women undergoing chemotherapy found that the visible side effects of cancer treatment negatively affected the confidence of over three quarters, and more than two thirds did not know how to disguise them. So, we introduced the role of the Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisor (BMBA) to provide a much-needed service that women could trust.
BMBAs 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.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 250,000 people living with cancer were shielding, and many more unable to access the support and advice usually available to them. To continue its support, Boots introduced video call appointments with our Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacist (BMIP), and Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors (BMBA).
My name is Katie and I’m one of the virtual Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors. I recently had an appointment with a lady who is going through chemotherapy. She said it was so refreshing to speak to someone new about skin care and make-up in relation to the effects of cancer, but also for non-related chats! She said she can’t wait for her next appointment because it’s given her something to look forward to again. I feel the virtual appointments have such a positive impact on people going through cancer treatments, not only for our beauty advice, but also for them.to have someone to talk to during this very strange and isolating time. Katie, Virtual Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisor
Team members also regularly take part in fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support, which helps to ensure the charity can continue to deliver their vital services. From makeup-athons and raffles to taking part in Mighty Hikes and marathons, our team members love to go above and beyond to fundraise for Macmillan.
Through the efforts of thousands of team members, customers, suppliers and partners, we have raised over £19.3 million so far, which means Macmillan can continue making a difference to many peoples’ lives.
If you or someone you love has cancer, Macmillan is here to help – from diagnosis through to treatment and beyond. For support, information or a friendly chat, call Macmillan for free on: 0808 808 00 00 (Monday—Friday, 8am—8pm) or visit online at:macmillan.org.uk
“Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604). Also operating in Northern Ireland”.