Boots UK: CommunityMark Case Study

Boots UK has demonstrated a long-term, high-level commitment to community investment that represents best practice and brings real community and business benefits.In April 2011, they were awarded the prestigious CommunityMark national standard of excellence.


Boots UK is the UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer. Its purpose is to help customers look and feel better than they ever thought possible. The company employs over 64,000 colleagues and has close to 2,500 stores from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores. Boots UK is a member of Alliance Boots, a leading international pharmacy-led health and beauty group.

Cancer Information and Support

Boots UK is working with Macmillan Cancer Support to help provide the two million people living with cancer, and their family and friends, increased access to the information and support they need – when they need it, where they need it.

As well as the partnership’s aim to develop and provide a number of services for people wanting to know more about cancer, Boots UK aims to increase access and awareness of the services and support Macmillan Cancer Support provides. Boots UK offers invaluable access to a huge number of people through its stores and the millions of customers who visit each week.

Boots UK and Macmillan Cancer Support will deliver more ways to access information about living with cancer to the high street, in local communities and online.Macmillan Cancer Support has developed training for the 15,000 Boots UK pharmacists, dispensers and healthcare assistants on the issues surrounding cancer.This builds on the specialist training that Boots UK’s healthcare colleagues already receive to enable them to offer even more.

Boots UK’s No7 consultants use their time and expertise to support Look Good...Feel Better beauty workshops for women with cancer, an initiative sponsored by the cosmetic industry. The free sessions take place in hospitals across the UK. Many Boots UK No7 consultants regularly volunteer at these sessions, providing morale-boosting makeovers and advice on skin care and make-up. By the end of 2009/10, workshops were taking place in 59 hospitals, with over 110 Boots UK No7 consultants volunteering. Boots UK also donated over 40,000 No7 products during 2009/10 to support these workshops.

Boots UK’s expert suncare consultants are encouraged to get involved in supporting sun safety activity in their local communities. The company provides them with resources to help them do a great job in sharing their knowledge and expertise on why it is so important to be safe in the sun. Throughout the summer many of Boots UK consultants help local schools and playgroups, work with health professionals to educate parents and children, and work with community groups to support events in parks and on beaches.

In summer 2009, Boots UK worked with educational experts to create a new online children's storybook featuring Sunshine Sam. Sunshine Sam also featured in an educational TV advert on the children's channel Nickelodeon Junior, linked to a competition to win a Boots summer backpack. The competition was a great success, exceeding expectations and firmly establishing Sunshine Sam as a favourite with young children.

Local Community Support

Boots was founded in Nottingham over 160 years ago and today the business in the UK continues to play a valuable role in local communities through its charitable giving, charity partnerships, employee fundraising and volunteering programmes.

All of Boots UK's pre-registration pharmacists (currently over 650) are encouraged to understanf the health needs of their local community by delivering a relevant health event, many in partnership with Macmillan, as part of their pre-reg year. The scheme allows for 2 days volunteering per participants during paid work time - 1 day preparation and 1 day to deliver.

Boots Charitable Trust celebrated its 40th Anniversary in November 2010, after donating almost £10 million, over the last 40 years, to charities and community organisations. The Trust currently prioritises funding in the areas of health, life-long learning, community development and social care and welcomes applications for local projects with the capacity to deliver significant impact and reach the greatest number of people.

During 2009/10 over 20% of Boots UK's Support Office colleagues delivered over 40 team challenges and donated over 4,800 hours to the community, earning themselves a Business in the Community 'Highly Commended' award for the impact they made. These challenges provided an opportunity for Boots UK colleagues to spend a day in the local community sharing their skills with schools, charities and community groups. Challenges have included helping to plant new gardens, revamp meeting rooms, organise birthday parties and renovate community benches and gardens.