A new advice guide has been launched to provide help and support banking customers who are living with or were affected by cancer.
Customer-facing colleagues of Virgin Money will be trained by the Macmillan Charity to provide both financial and emotional support to customers in stores, over the phone or a webchat.
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.
About 50 colleagues across various Virgin Money stores have volunteered to be trained and provide support such as, helping with wider concerns, signposting to local community groups or provide emotional support by simply being there to listen.
Michelle Moulds, 54, a Host in Virgin Money’s Fargate Store, in Sheffield, volunteered to take part in Macmillan Guide after previously volunteering at Rotherham Hospice.
Ms Moulds said: “Our customers affected by cancer may come into the store feeling vulnerable and in my role as a Macmillan Guide I can hopefully give them confidence that we have people ready and available to discuss any worries they may have.
“It makes me feel really proud to think that I could make someone feel better, if only for a short period of time. I’m also really looking forward to getting involved in fundraising with the team at Virgin Money to help raise vital funds for Macmillan.”
The initiative was launched after Macmillan research revealed that a quarter of a million people with cancer in the UK feel they have no one to talk to about their worries and more than 100,000 people are struggling to pay for basic essentials such as food, bills, rent or their mortgage as a result of Covid-19.
Peter Dockar, Head of Customer Experience Development 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.”