Virgin Money offers cancer support service
A pilot scheme for Virgin Money Macmillan Guides starts today. Up to 50 Virgin Money employees will be trained by cancer charity Macmillan to provide support to people affected by cancer.
Staff will be trained to understand the individual issues these people may face, in order to enable and empower customers to take positive action. This could include helping people navigate the financial support available at Virgin Money, or offering guidance about the variety of support available from Macmillan.
The initiative is launching at a time when Macmillan research shows that more than a quarter of a million (270,000) people with cancer in the UK feel they have no one to talk to about their worries because of the pandemic, and nearly a million feel stressed, anxious or depressed because of Covid-19.
Macmillan found that around half a million people with cancer in the UK were experiencing some kind of financial impact from the pandemic in the run-up to the current national lockdown.
It estimates that more than 100,000 people with cancer are struggling to pay for basic essentials such as food, bills, rent or their mortgage as a result of the impact of Covid-19.
Peter Dockar, head of customer value management at Virgin Money, said: “Sadly many of us will have been touched by a cancer diagnosis, either personally or through a friend or family member and know it can have a devastating impact, not only physically but emotionally and financially. That is why we are working with Macmillan, our charity partner of the year, to launch the Macmillan Guide role, the first service of its kind offered by a UK bank, designed to support those customers living with or affected by cancer.
“As a bank one of our ambitions is to make a positive social and environmental impact. Macmillan Guide is innovative in its approach and the role of a guide will see specially trained Virgin Money customer-facing colleagues use their position to help Macmillan provide the best possible expert support.”
Lynda Thomas, chief executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “Due to the impact of Covid-19 we know that this is the most worrying time in recent history to get a cancer diagnosis, and for many people receiving the life-changing news that you have cancer is nothing short of a financial wrecking-ball. That’s why we’re thrilled to launch the Macmillan Guide initiative with Virgin Money, a service that will provide vital emotional and financial support to people affected by cancer when they need it most.”