Providing a Helping Hand

Most people will face vulnerability at some point in their lives. The COVID-19 pandemic saw an increase in the scale and extent of vulnerable circumstances people faced - with both financial and mental wellbeing under pressure. We take pride in doing everything we can to support members and provide a service that works for them.

The four key drivers of vulnerability that we focus on are:


Conditions or illnesses that affect people’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities.

Life events

Major life events such as bereavement, job loss or relationship breakdown.

Financial resilience

Low ability to withstand financial or emotional shock.

Financial capability

Low financial understanding or low confidence in managing money.

How we help

Hear from Riffat Tufail our dedicated Head of Customer Vulnerability and some of our other colleagues, on how we support members at moments that matter.

Helping Hand framework - key principles

Our six key Helping Hand principles have been designed in order to ensure we have a strong focus on understanding members’ needs. They provide an internal framework for us to follow when supporting vulnerability and are continually reviewed for improvements.

  1. Design

    Our propositions are designed to include the needs of vulnerable members and are accessible to all
  2. Recognise

    We recognise when members need additional support and are equipped to create a safe space for disclosure
  3. Respond

    We show empathy and flexibility in the ways we support members, as individual needs will be different
  4. Record

    We ask members if we can record the details they share when they interact with us, so they only need to tell us once
  5. Monitor

    We continually check that we are meeting the needs of members who are in vulnerable situations
  6. Support

    We’re attentive to our colleagues and recognise they need to be supported in order to best serve members

Awards and recognition

Our Helping hand initiatives:

We aim to create a safe space to encourage members to speak up and seek additional help. As part of our training, we created an Award Winning Listening Wheel E-Learning in partnership with Samaritans to help colleagues become better listeners. Learn more about what we’ve done.

What next?