WEEKS after smashing a world record while fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support Swindon-based Nationwide Building Society has launched a unique service for those battling the disease.

On Monday, the financial services company based in Pipers Way launched a tailored one-to-one support service for members and customers affected by cancer with the information and support they need when it comes to making decisions about their finances following a diagnosis.

Nationwide member, Mandy Connor, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, said: “My diagnosis earlier in the year meant taking time off work for treatment and recovery, and that brought with it changes to my income I wasn’t prepared for. As a result I was spending as much time worrying about my financial situation as my health.

“As a Nationwide customer, I was put in contact with the new Specialist Support Service to help me manage my money. They were friendly and fully understood my situation, offering to monitor my current account income and outgoings for me to ensure I didn’t fall behind on bills and payments. They cancelled overdraft fees and kept an eye on payments so I didn’t need to.

“We now speak regularly to check how things are going and it’s a huge help at a difficult time. Rather than worrying about my money, I can focus on getting better and getting back to work.”

The service is in response to Macmillan’s 2014 Counting on Your Support Report4, which set out nine recommendations to the financial industry to ease the financial burden of cancer.

The charity revealed almost 400,000 people living with the disease struggle to keep up with household bills and credit each year and 95 per cent don’t contact their bank or building society when faced with financial difficulty. Of those who did make contact 36 per cent said their provider wasn’t able to offer them support.

Graham Beale, Nationwide’s chief executive, said: “If you’re diagnosed with cancer, the last thing on your mind should be money. But for many it can dominate their lives as much as the practical and emotional consequences of living with cancer.

“We recognise that making financial decisions at the best of times can be tough enough, but that a little extra support can go a long way to making these decisions easier when you or a loved one is affected by cancer."

A few weeks ago Nationwide raised more than £150,000 for the charity's 25th World's Biggest Coffee Morning, where they also smashed a Guinness World Record when 691 staff and members sat down to a cream tea for 30 minutes.

Lynda Thomas, chief executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “The banking industry has a vital role to play in helping to minimise the financial impact of cancer yet the majority of people with cancer report that when they go to their financial provider they are not receiving the help and support that they need.

“It’s great that Nationwide’s Specialist Support Service is addressing the challenges people affected by cancer often experience in accessing the right support from their financial providers. By implementing our simple and practical recommendations like providing better support to customers via front line staff, banks and building societies can make a huge difference to the lives of people living with cancer, but we still need the whole industry to come together and adopt these solutions so that no one living with cancer faces financial worries alone.”