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1st Credit announces suicide prevention partnership
15.01.2018

Debt purchaser names Grassroots as charity partner for 2018

Ethical debt purchaser and credit management firm 1st Credit is to partner suicide prevention charity Grassroots in 2018 in a bid to improve the experiences of vulnerable customers.

The Brighton-based charity has trained over 8,000 people in suicide prevention and mental health. As well as training it offers a free ‘StayAlive’ app, which provides help and support to people contemplating suicide and those supporting them.

With Grassroots as its chosen charity for 2018, 1st Credit, part of global credit management group Intrum, will train its own staff in suicide prevention as well as raising money and helping the charity increase its reach across the financial services sector.

The training is designed to ensure 1st Credit’s customer support representatives have the skills and confidence to handle calls with customers contemplating suicide.

The charity uses the ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) model that teaches participants how to recognise when someone is having thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan for their immediate safety. Studies show that the method helps reduce suicidal feelings in those at risk.

1st Credit will also promote the StayAlive app to customers and their carers. The app is a free to download tool to help people who are suffering with thoughts of suicide and is a reminder to people for their own reasons for living. It also offers access to crisis support lines and a mini-safety plan for the individual.

Grassroots Chief Executive Stella Comber said: “We are delighted to be working with 1st Credit to support the implementation of their suicide awareness and training plan. We recognise debt and financial problems are known risk factors for suicide, and that these issues disproportionately affect the most vulnerable members of our communities.

“Grassroots applauds 1st Credit’s commitment and efforts to addressing this issue in a practical and positive way.”

Eddie Nott, UK Managing Director for 1st Credit, said the taboo subject of suicide is too often overlooked when it comes to helping vulnerable customers. “Research suggests there is an awareness and skills gap in the debt collection industry when it comes to speaking to people who may be contemplating suicide.”

“In 2018, as part of our ongoing work around mental health, we are determined to enhance 1st Credit’s own knowledge and understanding of suicide both to help our customers and to assist Grassroots in spreading their training and support across the industry.”

For more information contact:

1st Credit:

Heather Greig-Smith, 07946 609928, heather@hgsmedia.co.uk

Lizzie Singer, 07442 505 353, lizziesinger@1stcreditltd.com

About Grassroots

Grassroots is a Brighton-based charity with a simple but powerful goal: that no one should have to contemplate suicide alone. It works locally and nationally with communities, organisations and individuals, helping them to become ready, willing and able to effectively support someone at risk of suicide. Its training and consultancy helps save lives by enabling the kind of conversations that can really make a difference.

For more information visit www.prevent-suicide.org.uk

About 1st Credit

1st Credit is a leading UK debt purchase and collection company working with customers to agree payment plans that suit their individual circumstances.

The company is well known for taking an ethical approach to debt collection – in particular for treating customers fairly. It is the only debt purchase company to have achieved the maximum rating in the independent Investor in Customers (IIC) assessment for four consecutive years.

1st Credit has won a string of awards for its approach, including a Customer Experience Award, plus Best Conduct and Compliance Culture and Best Customer Service awards at the 2017 independent Credit Strategy Collections & Customer Service Awards – the seventh time it has won the industry’s compliance award. 1st Credit is a registered firm of the Lending Standards Board and is the first business of its kind to achieve an ISO standard for dealing with vulnerability.

In February 2017, 1st Credit was purchased by European Credit Management Group Intrum.

About Intrum

Intrum is the industry-leading provider of Credit Management Services with a presence in 23 markets in Europe. Intrum helps companies prosper by offering solutions designed to improve cash flows and long-term profitability and by caring for their customers. Ensuring that individuals and companies get the support they need to become free from debt is an important part of the company’s mission.

Intrum has more than 8,000 dedicated and empathetic professionals who serve more than 100,000 companies across Europe. In the 12 months ending March 2017, pro-forma revenues amounted to SEK 12.9 billion. Intrum is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden and the Intrum share is listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange.

For further information, please visit www.intrum.com