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Supporting UK Communities

As a pharmaceutical company operating in the UK, it is important that we make investments to support the health of people in local communities. Pfizer’s activities to support health and well-being programmes include financial grants, in-kind support and the time and business skills of its colleagues through volunteering programmes. Pfizer offers additional support to the communities close to its facilities and offices.


Pfizer encourages employees to share their practical and business skills and expertise with local voluntary organisations. Health Relief, our volunteering programme in the UK, allows employees to take up to five days paid leave a year to work with a range of community groups.

We also run an annual Thinkathon, dedicated group volunteering days when Pfizer colleagues nationwide support charities with specific business challenges they need help with. The first Thinkathon in 2010, involved 300 colleagues working with 12 local charities across the UK over the course of one week. In 2011 more than 280 colleagues worked with 15 new charities over a two-week period.

If you work for a community organisation or charity that could benefit from the time and skills of our colleagues, please contact us at

The Health Relief Mentors programme allows Pfizer colleagues to volunteer their time and skills to support an individual charity worker by mentoring them on an ongoing basis. This programme allows us to offer more individual support to people working in UK charities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the developing world. Colleagues donate around an hour of their time per week to share their skills via telephone, email or a secure social networking website, developing the mentoring relationship from their desk. The aim is to overcome the constraints of geography, cost and time and enable people to volunteer with an organisation over a longer period of time.

Pfizer UK has partnered with three international development NGOs – VSO, Merlin and the West African College of Physicians – whose work is committed to improving the health outcomes of hundreds of thousands of people living in developing countries.

Pfizer also has a global volunteering programme called Global Health Fellows in which UK colleagues are encouraged to participate. Launched in 2003, Global Health Fellows calls on talented, committed and trained employees to work in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America for three to six month periods. Fellows include Pfizer physicians, nurses, epidemiologists, laboratory technicians, marketing managers, financial administrators and health educators.

During their assignments, colleagues train and support their local counterparts, transferring skills so that the important contributions they make are sustainable over time.

More than 270 Pfizer colleagues, five of whom are UK based, have worked as Global Health Fellows with 40 partner organisations (NGOs) across 40 countries to deliver healthcare and health system support to those in need around the world. Participants come from all levels of management to share experience and expand the availability of healthcare services in some of the hardest to reach areas.

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Colleague Engagement

Pfizer aims to create a culture where all employees value, believe in and enjoy the work they do. We believe that our employees have a role to play in making a positive difference to the communities in which we live and work and want colleagues to feel empowered to deliver that change.

Alongside volunteering programmes, our pay-roll giving scheme allows staff to donate up to £100 per month to charities of their choice in a tax efficient way. Pfizer matches these donations so the impact on the charity is doubled (this programme is capped at £120,000).

Pfizer has a matched-funding scheme, supporting colleagues in their charity fundraising efforts such as marathons, treks and personal challenges. Pfizer provides support up to £150 for an individual colleague and up to £350 for teams.

Pfizer also has an established partnership with The British Red Cross and match-funding donations made by Pfizer colleagues to Red Cross disaster appeals at times of humanitarian crisis across the word.

Medicines donations

All Pfizer UK medicines donations are coordinated through our well-established relationship with International Health Partners (IHP). IHP provides donated medical supplies to charities working at the front-line of health provision in developing countries and ensures donated medicines go to the communities that need them most.

IHP also provides Doctor’s Travel Packs to medics working in developing countries. These travel packs contain essential medicines commonly needed in impoverished communities and provide treatments for up to 1,200 children and adults. Pfizer UK is a proud contributor towards the creation of these travel packs. Half of our contribution goes towards providing these packs in emergency disaster situations whilst the other half are offered to medical students choosing to take their medical electives in a developing country.