Boots and Macmillan
We hope you enjoyed the Sunday night Feel Good Forum with Boots on Real and Smooth Radio. Our presenter (and mum of DS aged 4) Kate Thornton was joined by Macmillan Cancer Information Nurse Specialist Kate Goldie, and make-up artist Daniel Sandler, who has created specially designed make-up to raise money for cancer charities. The discussion focused on the effects of a life-changing diagnosis, and how relationships, self-esteem and our bodies can all be affected, and what positive steps you can take now and in the future.
Boots and Macmillan Cancer Support are working together to ensure everyone affected by cancer, wherever they are in the UK, has access to the best cancer information and support in their local community. In this article we look in more detail at their relationship and the benefits it's bringing to people's lives.
It's estimated that 2 million people in the UK are currently living with or beyond cancer, a number predicted to increase to 4 million by 2030, so it's no surprise that most of us know someone who has been affected in one way or another.
What is surprising, however, is that according to research, almost a third of those people directly affected felt they had insufficient information and support outside of their healthcare team. This is one part of the cancer journey Boots and Macmillan knew they could tackle together - reaching more people and ensuring nobody faces cancer alone.
Someone to talk to
Evidence shows that people affected by cancer feel better after having someone to talk to on a one-to-one, face-to face basis. But a busy life, especially when juggling cancer treatment, sometimes makes it hard to find the right person to talk to at the right time. The answer was to create a new role in Boots stores so people affected by cancer can have conversations about the practical and emotional issues they may face right on the high street, making life that little bit easier. The role of the Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacist was born, and today there are over 1,200 of these specially trained Pharmacists in local Boots stores around the UK.
Someone to listen to
Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists have received special training, developed by Boots and Macmillan, to enable them to talk to people affected by cancer throughout their cancer journey. As well as offering practical advice, they're also able to signpost them to the full support that Macmillan offer.
Angela Chalmers, a Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacist in London, tells us what it means to her.
"My role is to help connect people to cancer information and support in their local area. A big part of that is offering a listening ear to people who come in so that we find the right information for them at a time when they need it most. Training as a Boots Macmillan Information pharmacist has given me extra skills in understanding the emotions people go through when they're diagnosed with cancer. It also helped me understand what treatments people undergo, the steps along the way and the information they get. Often people just want to talk, and you just tend to listen. If they cry, sometimes just giving them a tissue is all you need to do. The training I had took away my fear over how to react – you realise you can't do anything wrong if you say, 'this is my consultation room, I'm here to listen'. What's interesting is these interactions tend to happen outside 9-5, which is why it's great that we are open at these times and there for these people when they really need us."
If you, or your loved ones, need extra cancer support and information, or just someone to listen you can find details of your nearest Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacist here.
Look Good Feel Better
In 1994, Boots, alongside other big names in the beauty industry, helped to found the charity Look Good Feel Better. The charity provides support to people experiencing the visible side-effects of cancer treatment, holding free skincare and make-up workshops to help boost confidence and wellbeing. Many Boots beauty consultants and No7 Beauty advisors choose to volunteer at the workshops that run across the UK, contributing to the 1,200 workshops that reach thousands of women face-to-face.
Listeners can find out more information and where their nearest workshop is taking place by clicking here.
Since the start of the Boots and Macmillan Cancer Support partnership in 2009 Boots colleagues and customers have have walked, cycled, ran, baked and raffled their way to help raise an incredible £6 million, every penny of which goes straight to helping people, and their loved ones, affected by cancer.
If you would like to help make a real difference to the lives of people living with cancer there are lots of ways you can get involved, from volunteering, fundraising and everything else in-between.
Listen to the show now and hear the questions posed by our MNers - it's available now. Click here.