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Changing lives: A lasting commitment to local communities

As the leading supplier of medicines to the NHS, and as a company that is fully focused on adapting to the changing needs of customers, it goes without saying that Pfizer is profoundly affected by the rapidly changing healthcare environment in the UK. However, rather than merely responding to change as it happens, Pfizer is changing into a more agile organisation with fewer layers of management and tailoring its approach to meet local needs, developing business opportunities and making a difference to people’s lives on many different levels.

“it’s not just the charities and local organisations that benefit.Volunteering through Health Relief provides teams of field professionals with a rewarding and fun experience that helps build a real team spirit”

Sales Director,David Bevan makes the case for building on a strong legacy.“In short, Pfizer is making big and bold changes to the way it works with customers.Yet, at the same time, it is building on its enduring core Company Values to create a working environment where its field-based sales and account management professionals can continue to be proud of what they deliver for customers, patients and the communities in which they work and live.”  The company’s Community Value demonstrates Pfizer’s commitment to working in partnership with local organisations to help address community- based health needs. Pfizer has two major flagship programmes in which field-based employees play an active part, the Pfizer UK Foundation and Health Relief.

Tackling health inequalities

Although British people are healthier today than ever before, there remain communities with profound inequality. In these marginalised groups, life expectancy falls well short of the rest of the population.

Early in 2005, Pfizer launched an innovative programme to support organisations tackling health inequalities in the United Kingdom. Since then, the Pfizer UK Foundation has donated more than £2.6million in grants, each targeted to make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged members of society. A little over two years later, over 240,000 people are estimated to have benefited.

Pfizer’s field-based sales and account management colleagues play a vital role in identifying and recommending projects that could benefit from funding to reduce health inequalities in their own territory.

Comments from field professionals involved in its programmes:

“The Foundation is fantastic – it has made so many projects possible, which will make a difference to so many people”

“It has been very fulfilling to be involved in the project and genuinely being seen to help the wider community. It has strengthened relationships with existing customers”

“Relationships have been strengthened and the reputation and credibility of Pfizer has been elevated”

“Has opened wider and broader conversations about Pfizer’s role as an aligned healthcare partner”


The Pfizer UK Foundation is making a real impact. A combination of sport and healthy eating are helping to transform the lives of children and their families in one of the most deprived areas of the Rhondda Valley.The Cambrian Village Trust has used a grant to set up a girls’ football team and a healthy lifestyle project, for example.

With the help of a Pfizer UK Foundation grant, the Terrence Higgins Trust has set up two HIV testing services in Birmingham and south east London to reduce the levels of undiagnosed HIV through improved access, quicker results and the opportunity to fast track patients to follow up medical services, if required. 

An award-winning Bollywood-style comedy, created by the South Asian Health Foundation with support from the Pfizer UK Foundation, is proving highly successful in raising awareness of heart disease among the Asian community. It’s an important message for this community which has a 50% increased risk of heart attack compared with the caucasian population.

Pfizer’s fieldforce get hands-on

In addition to grants being made available through the Pfizer UK Foundation, Pfizer’s field-based professionals get hands-on by helping their local community through a volunteering scheme called Health Relief.

The aim of Health Relief is to focus the company’s volunteering on supporting local organisations that educate people about health and wellbeing and assist those impacted by poor health.Volunteering is a way of showing, in practice, that Pfizer people are genuinely committed to local communities and living Pfizer’s Community Value.


To help foster innovation, one Pfizer team brainstormed marketing strategies for the Samaritans and the Rainbow Trust.The team helped to generate a wide range of new ideas, which both charities put into action.

Harking back to his days as a fine-art student, one field representative replaced dreary hospital walls with paintings of cartoon characters to cheer up the children’s waiting area at Bangor A&E. He worked alongside a hospital nurse to revive the waiting room in just two mornings.

The senior leadership team took up the volunteering baton transforming a patch of overgrown land at the National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy into a tranquil garden.The area is now used by children resident at the centre for picnics and lesson

Pfizer employees can spend as many as five working days a year taking part in volunteering.These five days can be used in a single week or as multiple hours over the period of a year. The range of volunteering work that can be carried out under Health Relief is limited only by the needs of the project or the energy and capabilities of the volunteers. In addition to helping out with manual tasks, such as gardening and redecorating, Pfizer volunteers also undertake projects which use the broad range of skills and knowledge that have been developed as part of their work, such as strategy development, marketing and communications.

David Bevan says it’s not just the charities and local organisations that benefit.“Volunteering through Health Relief provides teams of field professionals with a rewarding and fun experience that helps build a real team spirit.”

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