313 Financial’s Stephen Dixon

Member Article

Stephen’s will to help COVID-19 health workers

A financial services business in County Durham has already saved NHS and pharmacy workers a combined £50,000 in fees by offering a will writing service free of charge.

And with the offer to be widened to all North East based emergency services personnel, that have been working through the Covid-19 crisis, 313 Financial’s Stephen Dixon, is hoping to help even more people take care of something that often slips down the priority list.

He says: “When the pandemic first hit I think it brought into focus how events can change what we think are our normal lives so quickly and made us all reflect on our own circumstances, planning for the present and the future.

“Like everyone, I was aware of the unbelievable challenges that NHS and healthcare employees were facing and wanted to do something to help. I’m no runner and certainly wasn’t going to be taking on a fitness challenge but it occurred to me that – with my employer’s support – I could offer my time and this will writing service free to these brave workers who were risking their own lives to help others.

“God forbid it would be needed but by removing the financial stumbling block to putting a plan in place, I was hoping to offer people the opportunity to have peace of mind, knowing their wishes would be carried out should the worst happen in any circumstances.

“The take up has been amazing and I’ve been able to help over 400 families to date.”

Sandra Hindmarch, 56, from Carville, has been working at a pharmacy during the pandemic. She says: “Being able to access this free service through 313 Financial has been a God send to me. My husband was very sadly diagnosed with a terminal health condition earlier this year and having put his affairs in order, at significant cost, I knew it was something I needed to do myself but due to time and expense I had let it go by the wayside.

“Then the pandemic hit and I think like anyone working in a frontline healthcare position, I was aware of the risks and this brought the importance of having a plan in place back into my mind. This very generous offer has enabled me to do just that, removing the financial outlay. Stephen was fantastic with me and considering the subject being discussed, the whole process was a relaxed, calm and stress free. I now have real peace of mind that should the worst happen, everyone will be looked after and my wishes honoured.”

313 Financial, which began as a two-man enterprise as recently as 2016, now boasts a team of 24, working out of offices at The Durham Workspace, Pity Me.

As well as offering independent mortgage advice and organising applications, 313 can source and arrange home, life and health insurance policies as well as helping customers to set up wills, trusts or powers of attorney.

It became part the newly established 313 Group last year, following the launch of 313 Wealth - which offers advice on pensions, investments, inheritance tax and financial planning for business - and 313 Insurance - which provides advice on a range of insurances including home, car, public liability, buildings and contents and business and commercial cover.

It has been quite some progress for a business which started trading from the spare bedroom of one of its directors only five years ago. However, an innovative, customer focussed approach and the use of social media as a means of communicating with customers, has proved a shrewd strategy.

Jordan Sanders, Director with 313 Financial, added: “This was a fantastic idea and one that we were delighted to support and put resources towards. I understand Stephen has quite a waiting list but is working through this and is now welcoming applications from all UK emergency service personnel that have worked during the crisis.”

North East based emergency services personnel, healthcare workers and pharmacy employees that have been working through the Coronavirus pandemic, can find a contact email address on the 313 Financial website via which to apply.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Paul Dobbie .

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