The Virgin Money Macmillan Guide role is the first of its kind to be launched by a UK bank.
The initiative will provide communities with emotional support as well as information and signposting to relevant support at a time when they need it most – whether that be from Virgin Money, Macmillan or other organisations.
Michelle Moulds, 54, is a host in Virgin Money’s Fargate Store. She volunteered to become a Macmillan Guide after having previous experience volunteering as a receptionist at a Rotherham Hospice.
She has been trained to understand the practical, emotional and financial issues people may face. This could include helping navigate the financial support available at Virgin Money, offering guidance about the variety of support from Macmillan to help with wider concerns, signposting to local community groups or simply being there to listen.
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Michelle said: “My motivation for signing up to be a Macmillan Guide came from having experience of volunteering as a receptionist at a local Rotherham hospice for two years where I spent time with the families and friends of cancer patients.
“I wanted to do something rewarding and offer my time and support to our customers living with cancer and their families - this could involve offering financial support, signposting to Macmillan services and wider support groups or simply listening in a quiet corner.
“Our customers affected by cancer may come in to 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.”
Lynda Thomas, chief executive of 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.”