How Virgin Money is supporting people in need

Virgin Money
Virgin Money
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
25 January 2024

Virgin Money has announced a number of charity partnerships to help people in need this winter.

The bank has teamed up with Good Things Foundation to support households across the UK that are facing digital exclusion by introducing the National Databank programmes into Virgin Money’s entire network of stores.

Launched in July 2021 in partnership with Virgin Media O2, the National Databank is like a food bank but provides free mobile data, texts and calls for people in need. According to data compiled by Good Things Foundation, one in 14 households across the UK have no home internet access, more than 2.5 million households struggle to afford broadband, and 10.2 million people lack the most basic digital skills to use the internet.

Virgin Money
Virgin Money

Anyone without regular access to the internet can visit their nearest Virgin Money store and pick up an O2 SIM card loaded with 20GB of free data – enough for around 220 hours of internet browsing per month. The free data allowance renews every month for six months.

Good Things Foundation has also provided specialist training to Virgin Money’s customer service colleagues to help them better identify and support people impacted by digital exclusion and signpost them to a nearby National Databank – whether that’s a Virgin Money store, an O2 store or another location.

“Digital exclusion is a real issue in the UK and one that needs prioritising. For many low or no-income households, paying for broadband is often seen as a luxury that they can’t afford, but in reality, it is an essential purchase – especially in this digital age,” James Peirson, General Counsel & Purpose Officer at Virgin Money, said. “That’s why we are proud to support the vital work of Good Things Foundation by making the National Databank programme easier for people in need to access across the UK.”

Supporting mental health

Virgin Money has also announced Mind and Scottish Action for Mental Health (SAMH) as its new corporate charity partners to improve support for people experiencing financial worry.

Virgin Money
Virgin Money

Virgin Money will work alongside Mind and SAMH to support anyone affected by mental health problems and money worries, and direct them to the vital services the charities provide – regardless of whether they are a Virgin Money customer or not.

“We understand that financial difficulties can have a devastating impact on mental health and how experiencing mental health problems can affect how people manage their finances,” James Peirson said. “It’s important that we do all we can to create an inclusive banking experience and offer additional support for those who may need it, which is why we’re proud to be working with Mind and SAMH and are confident that together we can make a difference.”

Financial support grants tool

The bank has also partnered with UK anti-poverty charity Turn2us to help more people across the UK access financial support through a grants search tool.

Virgin Money
Virgin Money

The tool, which is on the Virgin Money website, includes a database of approximately 1,400 grants and support schemes. It has been designed to help people determine whether they could be eligible to apply for grants given as money, products or services from charitable organisations.

The grants don’t impact welfare benefits and don’t need to be paid back, but finding and accessing them can sometimes be difficult. The new tool enables users to follow a few simple steps and check whether their personal or family circumstances – including current and previous occupations, living arrangements, and health and wellbeing – could make them suitable for support.

Visit Virgin Money to find out more.