Samaritans is delighted to announce that it will continue to partner with Phillips & Cohen Associates International for a sixth year. The deceased account management specialists were the founding member of the charity’s corporate workplace training initiative, Samaritans Academy, which has been equipping businesses with the skills to deal with vulnerable consumers since 2010. The partnership between the organisations has also been broadened to include Phillips & Cohen Associates’ new markets in Ireland and New Zealand.

The Academy is about to enter a new phase of development, offering inspection and accreditation for organisations wanting to demonstrate that they have met set standards for dealing with consumers who may be distressed, such as those who have recently been bereaved.

Phillips & Cohen, with its reputation for engaging sensitively with consumers, will be a key player in the design and delivery of this offer, where businesses can work towards silver, gold and platinum status, depending on their handling of vulnerable, or potentially vulnerable consumers. There will also be increased emphasis for Samaritans Academy members on companies investing in training and skills to support the emotional resilience of their staff.

Samaritans’ Head of Corporate Partnership and Training, Lara Vasconcelos, said:

We are thrilled that Phillips & Cohen are continuing to support our ground breaking work in training colleagues so that they have the confidence and skills to deal sensitively and effectively with consumers who may be dealing with very difficult life circumstances. We look forward to working with them to take Samaritans Academy to the next level, with its members literally setting the standard in the UK and Ireland for supporting vulnerable consumers and the staff who deal with them.”

Phillips & Cohen Associates International Managing Director, Nick Cherry, said:

“Phillips & Cohen Associates International is an industry leader in dealing with consumers in a compassionate and understanding manner to achieve positive outcomes. We’re proud to be leading the way internationally with Samaritans Academy to ensure that the highest standards are met across all industries in dealing with vulnerable consumers. We also welcome the focus on developing the listening skills and emotional resilience of colleagues, which will benefit them in the workplace and in their personal lives too.”