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Boots attends reception at Buckingham Palace to mark the relaunch of the Wash Bags project

02 May 2024
News CSR

This week, several Boots team members had the honour of attending a reception at Buckingham Palace with Her Majesty The Queen, in recognition of those who support survivors of rape and sexual assault and to mark the relaunch of the Wash Bags project.

The Wash Bags Project was initiated by The Queen as Duchess of Cornwall in 2013 after hearing the stories of survivors during her visits to Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs).

Boots has proudly supported this initiative since its national launch in 2017. To date, it has donated over 50,000 wash bags filled with toiletries, which are offered at SARCs after a forensic examination, as a small gesture of comfort.

The project’s relaunch sees Boots continue to provide wash bags for a further three years, donating 9,500 bags per year that will be distributed across 65 SARCs. In Kind Direct, a charity founded in 1996 by The King as Prince of Wales, has come on board as the distribution partner for the initiative too.

Lucy Reynolds, Communications & ESG Director, Boots & No7 Beauty Company, said: “We could not be prouder to continue supporting the Wash Bags project. It was an absolute privilege for our team members to be recognised at this special reception, and to meet other organisations who have helped to deliver the project, alongside those who have directly benefited from its support.”

“Here at Boots, we truly believe in doing what we can to be there for people at every point in life – including the most difficult of moments. Everyone deserves to feel safe and cared for and to have access to hygiene essentials so we hope these toiletries will keep on providing a small degree of comfort at such a vulnerable time”.

For 175 years, Boots has been committed to caring for people, customers, and communities across the UK. Continuing this mission, it has been working in partnership with Hestia since 2020 to offer ‘Safe Spaces’ as part of the crisis charity’s UK Say No More campaign. It also supports the Ask for ANI codeword scheme, which was set up by the Home Office in 2021 and now forms part of this wider campaign.

In 2020, Her Majesty visited a Boots Safe Space to learn how these initiatives allow those at risk or suffering from abuse to discreetly signal that they need help, and access support in over 2,000 Boots pharmacies across the UK.

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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on boots-uk.com.

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023