As the UK continues to adapt to the changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19, we’re here to support our members throughout this challenging time. 2020 has proven to be an extremely testing year on so many fronts and we know that some of our members have suffered pain and hardship. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to offer our sincere sympathies and well-wishes to any of our members who have been directly affected by the coronavirus.
We have been adapting and evolving since 1826 and will continue to do so throughout these uncertain times, with the aim of putting members and staff first. When lockdown began, we acted quickly to protect our staff and their families, as well as our members’ interests. Our carefully considered yet timely actions so far have allowed us to adhere to government guidelines and keep providing a service whereby our members can contact us in the same ways they are accustomed to.
We’re committed to keeping our members informed as the situation continues to shift. Here is the latest update:
We’re here to help
We understand that, as the situation continues to change, our members might have more questions than usual. Our team is here to help resolve any queries you may have about your plan.
With some workplaces remaining closed in line with government advice, we know that some of our members may be experiencing financial difficulty, which could mean that you’re having trouble keeping up with payments. If you are in this situation, please get in touch and our Member Services team will be able to discuss your options with you. You can contact us via telephone or email for assistance.
What has changed?
In order to follow government guidelines, protect our staff and support our members, we’ve made a few changes. Below is a summary of what’s been happening behind the scenes at the Society over the past few months:
- Our team is still working flexibly; a large proportion of staff are still working remotely, with a small number of employees working at our COVID-secure Head Office. Although finance services is considered an essential industry, we are giving staff the choice of where they work, in order to protect them and their families. The move to flexible working went smoothly and, even when apart, we’ve been staying connected digitally. This transition has also been done in a way that minimises disruption to members.
- Our opening hours have changed. We are now open Monday to Thursday: 9am – 5pm and Friday: 9am – 4pm.
- Although we are still accepting post and collecting it regularly, we’ve reduced our paper communications. In certain situations, we have replaced mail correspondence with emails, texts or voice messages, meaning we can reach members more quickly.
- We’ve introduced new digital features for our members such as an online claims form and an Income Protection waiting period calculator. This way, members can get support without having to pick up the phone.
- We have also shared helpful advice and guidance for members affected by COVID-19 and added some useful articles to Your Resource Centre.
How our members can help
It’s our job to be there for you and we’re still here to answer your questions. However, as we’re receiving more calls than usual, we’re asking our members for a little help. Please only call us if your call is urgent or you are unable to contact us via email. This will enable us to prioritise vulnerable members and members with the most urgent enquiries, such as those experiencing financial difficulties.
For all other enquiries, we kindly ask that you contact us via email. You can find our email address below:
If you have questions relating to your plan, why not see if we’ve answered them in the useful articles below, created especially for members?
- Questions about your Shepherds Friendly Income Protection Plan?
- Questions about your Shepherds Friendly Investment Plan or ISA?
We would like to take a moment to say thank you to all our members. Your support and understanding at this time are truly appreciated.
Last updated 19/11/2020