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An evaluation of the sessions found a number of factors made for a successful visit. These included pre-session conversations between stores and information services, the type of store visited, the location of the stand, and the enthusiasm of both stores and services.
Nearly two-thirds of the Macmillan professionals who took part in the sessions believed they addressed unmet needs of people visiting their stands. Queries ranged from people concerned about signs and symptoms, to survivorship issues, to carers wanting to support friends and family.
One visitor said, ‘It gives you easier access – if I need to get in touch with Macmillan. Previously, I wouldn’t have known where to start.’
In particular, some of the information specialists’ skills were praised. One visitor to a session in Croydon said, ‘She created a private-like bubble around the conversation and I forgot where I was.’
The evaluation also found that the sessions increased the understanding and relationship between local Boots UK stores and information centres, which should help build links to signpost people to more support.
Rowena Howell, Boots and Macmillan Partnership Services Manager, says, ‘There’s a real alignment between Boots UK’s community pharmacy goals – to support those living with long-term conditions, provide information and advice and reduce health inequalities – and Macmillan’s work to improve the lives of people affected by cancer.’
The awareness week has also kicked off some exciting partnerships between local services and stores, with some now providing regular outreach sessions. 81% of information specialists said they would consider going in store again, with many contributing ideas for improvements to help their sessions be more productive.
Boots UK launched a free carers pack during Carers Week| this June and Macmillan helped to promote this to carers of people with cancer.
The pack included information about support available from Macmillan, and people attending Macmillan Carers Week events were given vouchers to claim a pack from one of the 200 participating stores. Boots UK is also helping Macmillan promote the benefits of physical activity for people with cancer.
We have more information about the partnership between Macmillan and Boots|.
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