• Standard Life funding to help Samaritans continue answering calls this Christmas Day
  • Standard Life launches film to extend active listening its staff uses to support vulnerable customers

Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, is for a second year in a row providing support to Samaritans with a series of activities ahead of Christmas, designed to ensure people know where to turn if they are struggling to cope during the festive period.

Funding of calls on Christmas Day

While Samaritans is busy every day of the year, we know the festive period can be particularly tough for some. To support those looking for someone to talk to, Standard Life will be helping to keep Samaritans services running on Christmas Day, when they receive an average of more than 14,500 telephone calls from across the UK and ROI. These calls can be hugely important to those struggling during what can be an isolating time and Samaritans is there 24 hours a day.

New campaign film highlights the help is available

To raise awareness of the support provided by Samaritans, Standard Life is also funding a TV ad which will launch first across social channels in November, and have then donated TV airtime to Samaritans in the lead up to Christmas Day. The film encourages people to support Samaritans at Christmas, and reminds the audience that they are there, if help is needed.

Samaritans training informs Standard Life’s vulnerable customer support

As a corporate partner for three years, Standard Life uses training support from Samaritans to train its employees on how to support customers in vulnerable circumstances and to listen with empathy. The training has been hugely valuable and Standard Life is seeking to extend the active listening principles to any colleague looking for help managing difficult or distressing conversations.

Standard Life has created an adapted version of the training* that has been rolled out to employees through an additional campaign film entitled ‘No one wants to talk to me’ that will be promoted across social media. In the film viewers meet Kevin who explains that no one wants to talk to him because ‘he’s a sign that’s something’s not right, or that something has gone wrong’.

As the film progresses it becomes clear that Kevin is a member of Standard Life’s Helping Hand team, a group of customer services representatives trained to deal with the most difficult situations customers may face such as a bereavement or serious ill health. He explains that like all Standard Life’s customer services team, he has been trained by Samaritans to provide the best possible support to individuals who are struggling and the film closes with a QR code encouraging viewers to learn more about how they can manage challenging conversations and listen more effectively.

Richard Amos, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Samaritans commented, “We are embarking on an essential and ambitious programme of activity focused on recruiting and training more listening volunteers to meet existing demands and expand our service. Donations are critical in ensuring we can continue providing support for anyone struggling to cope. Our partnership with Standard Life has been hugely significant in raising both these vital funds and the awareness of the importance of listening across their customer support teams.”

Sangita Chawla, Chief Marketing Officer at Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group commented, “We know that the Christmas period can be a challenging time for many, and it’s incredibly important that people know where to turn. People also need the certainty of knowing that there will be someone at the other end of the phone to help, which is why I’m proud that we are supporting the operations and calls on Christmas Day.

“This campaign builds on our valuable relationship with Samaritans, who are instrumental in ensuring our Helping Hand teams are well-placed to support individuals facing some of life’s most difficult events. Through the use of our film, we’ve been able to extend some of the lessons we’ve learned to a wider audience in a different way, and give people greater confidence to support anyone in their lives who may be struggling.”


Media enquiries

For further information, photos, video content or interviews, contact:

Samantha Griffith
PR Consultant

Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group
07752 465345

Notes to editors:

About Standard Life 

  • Standard Life is a brand that has been trusted to look after peoples’ life savings for nearly 200 years 
  • Today it proudly serves millions of customers who come to Standard Life directly, through advisers and through their employers’ pension scheme.
  • Standard Life is part of the Phoenix Group, the largest long-term savings and retirement business in the UK. We’re proud to be building on nearly 200 years of Standard Life heritage together
  • Our products include a variety of Pensions, Bonds and Retirement options to suit people’s needs, helping our customers to invest and save for their future. We’re proud to offer a leading range of sustainable and responsible investment options.
  • We support our customers on their journey to and through retirement with comprehensive, easy-to-understand guidance so they can invest in the right way for their needs, and plan a future they feel confident about.
  • The value of investments can go down as well as up, and may be worth less than originally invested.

About Samaritans

  • Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can visit www.samaritans.org
  • Every 10 seconds, Samaritans responds to a call for help.
  • Samaritans is a charity and it’s the public’s kind donations and 23,000 volunteers that mean we are always there for anyone struggling to cope. Find out how you can support us or volunteer with us.
  • You can follow Samaritans on social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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