Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, has announced that its Standard Life brand is the founding partner for a new initiative by Samaritans to train more volunteers.
The Samaritans Training School is designed to help recruit and train more Samaritans listening volunteers so the charity can be there for more people who need their support.
Standard Life is making a donation which will allow Samaritans, the charity that is there for anyone who is struggling to cope, day and night, 365 days a year, to train approximately 400 more listening volunteers.
Every 10 seconds, Samaritans responds to a call for help. Standard Life has also pledged to fund up to 10,000 calls to Samaritans as part of a social media campaign encouraging the public to also support the charity, taking the total value of Standard Life’s donation to £200,000.
Samaritans was chosen as Phoenix Group’s charity partner by colleagues in the UK in 2021, and the partnership has now been extended until the end of March 2024.
Alongside fund raising and donations, sharing time and skills is a key part of the charity partnership, to ensure everyone is listened to when they face challenging times. As part of this, Standard Life teams have attended Samaritans Training and Engagement Programmes (STEP) courses. STEP is a suite of courses delivered by Samaritans, designed to support organisations to train their people and teams to spot and support anyone struggling to cope.
Commenting on the announcement, Riffat Tufail, Vulnerable Customer Lead at Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, said: “Colleagues from across Phoenix Group, including the Standard Life Vulnerable Customer Team, have benefitted hugely from our partnership with Samaritans and the expertise they have shared over the previous two years.
“That is why we are delighted to be able to support the new Samaritans Training School, to help train 400 more listening volunteers, as well as provide additional donations to fund 10,000 calls over the festive period.
“We know from our own work that the importance of listening cannot be underestimated, and that is why it is absolutely vital Samaritans has as many volunteers as possible over the festive period and beyond.”
Sonya Trivedy, Executive Director for Income at Samaritans adds: “We are extremely proud of our partnership with Phoenix Group which has continued to go from strength to strength. We are delighted that Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, has chosen to become one of our founding partners of Samaritans Training School, an ambitious new programme of activity to expand our service and grow the number of listening volunteers in our organisation.
“Following a global pandemic and in the face of the cost-of-living crisis, we know that our 24-hour emotional support service is needed now more than ever. It’s thanks to our incredible partners and funders that we can continue to be there for people, now and in the years to come.”