Awareness days: a great way to fundraise and get cancer information and support

Helen Watkins, Area Manager, WalesAs well as fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support on Tuesday 17 May, Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists and Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors will be in a number of stores throughout Wales to offer advice and support to people affected by cancer.   It looks like a fantastic day! In this blog, Helen Watkins, Area Manager for Wales, Boots UK writes about the Boots UK partnership with Macmillan  and explains the aims of the awareness day.

Macmillan Cancer Support and Boots UK have been working together in partnership since 2009 to help improve the lives of people living with cancer. Over this time, we’ve launched two brand new services in our Boots UK stores, training expert Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists, and Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors, and through the efforts of our colleagues, customers, suppliers and partners, we’ve raised over £10 million for the charity.

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In Wales, we know that over 19,0001 people are diagnosed with cancer every year, and more than 130,000 people are currently living with or beyond cancer. We are really focussed on reaching out to support these people from within their local community. We want to be known as more than just a retailer, so we were keen to re-energise our teams about our partnership with Macmillan and run a collaborative campaign across each of our stores and Boots Opticians practices in Wales.

Through this awareness campaign, we were keen to get the message out to our customers and patients that Boots UK can offer them cancer information and support from a safe and convenient high street location and from people that they trust.

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We currently have over 90 trained Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists (BMIPs) across Wales who have volunteered to undertake additional learning modules which give them the tools they need to be able to offer expert advice and signpost patients to appropriate support.

We have also developed a training course for our No7 beauty advisors, so they can help those affected by cancer with the visible side effects of the treatment. We know that many women going through the treatment feel that the physical side effects negatively affect their self-esteem, and this service aims to help women undergoing cancer treatment to feel more like themselves again at a time when they need it most. We’ve just trained an additional 13 Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors who will be based in our larger stores in Wales so we can help more people affected by cancer – both on the awareness day and beyond.

This is the first time that we’ve run such a collaborative campaign across our stores in Wales and it’s an opportunity to show our local community how our trained experts are always on hand to support those affected by cancer from a safe and convenient high street location. Cancer is often the toughest fight many people will ever face, and we know from the conversations our pharmacists 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 families and friends.

As well as practical advice and support, fundraising is an important part of any charity, and we know this is one of our strengths across Wales.  Every store in Wales on the awareness day will be holding a raffle to raise funds, and some stores are doing even more, such as holding a coffee morning, bake sales and even cycle-athon challenges – using a static bike in store, together Boots UK colleagues will cycle over 100 miles for sponsorship throughout the day.

Ultimately, our aims for the day are to raise awareness of what we do in Boots UK to support those affected by cancer and their families through and beyond treatment, to energise our teams to get involved and to help make sure that no one faces cancer alone.

We’d like to encourage anyone looking for cancer information and support to visit their local Boots store. The awareness and fundraising day is being hosted on 17 May 2016, but please do come in anytime, and we would be happy to support in any way we can.

 

 

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