Virgin Money offers support service for people affected by cancer
Virgin Money has become the first UK bank to offer a bespoke service for people living with or affected by cancer.
The bank has teamed up with Macmillan Cancer Support to launch its Macmillan Guides support offering across the UK. The specially trained Macmillan Guides offer emotional support, information and signposting to other services for people affected by cancer, face to face or over the phone. The service is available for anyone, whether they are a Virgin Money customer or not.
One customer who has benefitted from the Macmillan Guide service is Danny Pryce. The 38-year-old was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer, Plasmablastic Myeloma, in June 2021. He said: “Finding out I had cancer was the scariest thing I have ever experienced. I wasn’t sure what the future held for me and my family. So, I started to get my affairs in order and one of the first calls I made was to the Virgin Money team to make them aware of my diagnosis. This is where I learned about their partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support. I spoke to an amazing Macmillan Guide called Caroline who explained what they can do for me and the services they provide.”
He added: “It was more than just your usual customer service. Caroline genuinely cared about how I was feeling, and we spoke for a long time. She told me what they could do to help support me, and this helped me stay positive. Caroline also made me aware of the other services Macmillan offers in case I had, for example, wellbeing or other money issues. I feel that every company should provide this service as the Macmillan Guide took a big weight off my shoulders and it really helped me, knowing I had one less thing to worry about. I have just found out I'm in remission so I can now concentrate on my recovery.”
Caroline Geddes, who helped Danny after his diagnosis, said that being able to help people in a time of need was the reason she volunteered to become a Macmillan Guide. “A cancer diagnosis can spark a range of emotions and making sure your finances are in order can often be a second thought. I feel proud to be part of an initiative that is helping people when they need it most and allowing them to concentrate on their health,” she said. “I was over the moon to hear that Danny is now in remission and that the Macmillan Guides played such a positive part in his experience with cancer.”
Macmillan Guides are trained by Macmillan to help provide the best possible support to people affected by cancer and understand the individual issues people living with cancer may face, to help enable and empower people to take positive action. This includes everything from navigating the financial support available at Virgin Money or their own bank, to offering guidance about the variety of support available from Macmillan, signposting to local community groups, or simply being there to listen.
Virgin Money started a pilot programme for the Macmillan Guides last year, which saw more than 50 store and contact centre colleagues go through the Macmillan training. Following its success, the programme will now be rolled out across the UK.
David Duffy, CEO of Virgin Money, said: “Our Guides have been leading the way in providing vital support in-store, online and over the phone for the past 12 months. We’re thrilled to be making it a permanent part of what we do here at Virgin Money and hope to be able to help as many people as possible with bespoke Guide advice and support.”
Lynda Thomas, CEO at Macmillan Cancer Support, added: “At a time when people should be able to focus on their health, receiving the life-changing news that you have cancer can be nothing short of a financial wrecking-ball, with many people facing extra and often unexpected costs following a diagnosis. On top of this, COVID-19 and the cost-of-living crisis are causing a huge amount of additional worry for many people with cancer. That’s why we’re so pleased to be working with Virgin Money on the Macmillan Guide initiative. The service will provide vital support to people when they need it most.”
Visit Virgin Money to find out more or access support through a Virgin Money store.