Phoenix Group have announced a new two year UK charity partnership with Samaritans, the charity that is always there to help anyone who is struggling to cope, not just at the moment of crisis, but to help prevent crisis too. Phoenix colleagues were keen to focus their latest charity partnership on mental health and following a voting process, chose Samaritans as their partner and will be looking to raise funds while promoting awareness of mental health.
The pandemic has had a profound impact on the nation’s mental health, with Samaritans volunteers indicating that all callers who reached out for emotional support over the past year had been affected by it. The charity encourages anyone who is struggling to cope to reach out and share how they are feeling as they continue to be there for everyone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
By partnering with a mental health charity Phoenix’s employees will have the chance to support the great work that they do and learn more about how to support themselves and their colleagues, as well as their customers and local communities as the UK continues to face the challenges of the pandemic.
Last year Phoenix donated £1 million to charities including Age UK to aid the Covid-19 relief effort. The Group also contributed to the Covid-19 Support Fund that has been set up by the insurance and long term savings industry, raising over £100m to help some of the people hardest hit by the pandemic.
In addition to this, Phoenix and its employees have donated a total of £1.4 million to four charity Air Ambulance services across the UK, the culmination of a successful charity partnership over the past six years*. Phoenix colleagues UK-wide fundraised for the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, London’s Air Ambulance Charity, Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance through a range of personal endeavours and many made their own donations too. This was combined with an element of Company matching and donations from some of Phoenix’s suppliers to reach the £1.4 million total donation. Phoenix colleagues also took part in skills-based volunteering which is an important element of Phoenix’s approach to charity partnerships.
Andy Moss, Phoenix Life CEO and Group Director, Heritage at Phoenix Group comments:
“It is imperative to recognise the life-saving work of charities such as Air Ambulance and Samaritans. The pandemic has heightened the reliance upon charitable services and as this is unlikely to wane anytime soon, they are dependent on more funds to survive and help others. We have a duty to provide support to those in our communities and across the UK battling the physical and emotional impacts of COVID 19.
“We know from our work with Air Ambulance charities across the UK that over the past year there have been far more call-outs as a result of mental health issues, which is why our new charity partnership with mental-health charity Samaritans is so important. We’re really looking forward to working with Samaritans over the next few years and ensuring that people across the UK always have someone to talk to if they are struggling to cope. Our new partnership is an opportunity for us to work with Samaritans to support their needs, not just raising funds, but donating time and sharing skills where needed. We will also be making sure we learn even more about supporting mental wellbeing through our partnership.
“Phoenix Group’s purpose is to help people secure a life of possibilities, with Sustainability at the heart of our business, and that’s exactly what the partnership with the Samaritans is all about, in ensuring that everyone is listened to and supported in our local communities. At this time of economic and social uncertainty all charities are vulnerable and we urge financially able businesses to join us in providing charities with a vital lifeline through funding, as well as donating time and skills where there is a need.”
Julie Bentley, CEO of Samaritans, added:
“It is fantastic that Phoenix Group has chosen Samaritans as their charity partner. At a time when everyone’s resilience is being tested, Samaritans volunteers are here for anyone struggling to cope and Phoenix Group’s decision will help us support even more people through the challenges to come. Samaritans services are available day and night, 365 days a year thanks to the generous support of our donors and we look forward to working with Phoenix Group as their charity partner.”
Phoenix Group will launch the partnership to colleagues with a virtual event at the end of April where colleagues will be able to find out more about the plans for the partnership. The first piece of fundraising began this weekend with ReAssure colleagues hosting a lockdown relay, with colleagues being encouraged to do some kind of physical activity for 30 mins from 7am to 7pm.