Our support services don’t just work with customers in isolation, they help people to feel more confident and comfortable getting out and about in their local community.

For many of us a trip to the bank might seem a bit of a hassle but for some people, especially those with a mental health issue or learning disability, it can cause a great deal of anxiety. It could be the unfamiliar environment, not feeling confident in approaching the staff or not knowing what they need to do.

So, it’s important that bank staff know how they can help their customers and make them feel more relaxed and confident.

Staff at the Halifax branch in Clacton on Sea invited Dave Pugh, a housing support worker from Family Mosaic, to come along to the branch and run a session about how to best support their customers. Dave frequently visits the branch with one of his customers so was in a good position to explain the issues that customers may have.

Emma Woolf, Assistant Branch Manager, found the visit really helpful:

Dave often visits our branch with one of his customers and has been so pleased with how the staff here have supported and built a relationship with her that he came to talk to us to help us understand the bigger picture.

He gave us some great tips around building trust, taking time and giving reassurance to customers who are suffering with their mental health. He explained that coming into an unfamiliar and sometimes confusing place like the bank can cause anxiety to be so bad that it effects customers’ ability to function and process rationally. But we can make a difference by giving reassurance and chatting to customers about their day or making them a cup of tea.

The session really was fantastic and all of the colleagues were able to ask questions and have taken something away.

Dave’s manager, Carolyn Collier, is really pleased about the way in which he has been helping the local community understand more about the impact of mental health:

A lot of our customers have mental health issues and find everyday tasks challenging so it’s important that we raise awareness about this within the local community. Dave’s visit will hopefully help the staff at Halifax be even more aware of the needs of their customers and how they can continue to support them.