Staff at Virgin Money stores across the north-east have been trained by a cancer charity as part of a new customer support scheme.
The new Virgin Money Macmillan Guide roles will provide support to people living with and affected by cancer.
Lynda Thomas, chief executive at Macmillan, 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.”
There will be guides providing bespoke support in Virgin Money stores in the north-east, including Aberdeen, Inverurie and Keith.
Katherine Brown, from the Aberdeen store on Union Street, said: “Signing up to be a Macmillan Guide was an easy decision following to the support my family has had from Macmillan in the past.”
Gemma Ellis, from the Keith store, added: “I love providing support to customers and am pleased that becoming a Macmillan Guide will be a good way to not only expand my relationship with my customers, but also increase my confidence when speaking about matters that can be upsetting.
“I’m very proud to be here to support anyone who comes into the store.”
Dean Thomas, from the Inverurie store, said: “I’ve always heard amazing things about the support that Macmillan provides people affected by cancer and when I started volunteering for Macmillan last year I also learned about the support provided to those fundraising for the charity.
“Being part of something that can help changes lives is an extremely rewarding experience.”
Support during the pandemic
Research by Macmillan found that around 36,000 people with cancer in Scotland were impacted financially due to Covid by the end of last year. Around 10,000 of the people surveyed said they were struggling to pay for basic essentials such as food, bills, rent or their mortgage.
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 in Scotland and the rest of the UK living with or affected by cancer.”