Guest blog: Barry O'Dwyer, CEO of Royal London


We all face the unexpected at some point in our lives. Being made redundant or coping with an accident or illness. Going through a separation or divorce or facing the loss of a loved one. These shocks can be difficult to deal with. And it’s not just everyday life that’s turned upside down – events like these can often have a big impact on our finances, too. 

Having some savings set aside, or an insurance policy, can help people through a tough time. But what about those who don’t have a financial cushion to fall back on? Lots of people struggle in low paid, insecure jobs with very little in the way of savings and no support network.

Life shocks can easily turn into a full-blown crisis. And, as we have witnessed during the Covid-19 global pandemic, financial hardship can happen to anyone, at any time.

It may be hard to imagine how it feels to be simply unable to cope. Yet one in three adults in the UK say they wouldn’t be able to manage without their income, or stay afloat financially, in the event of a life shock. That’s 17.6 million people.

At Royal London, we have always believed we’re stronger when we work together to tackle challenges and create positive change. And through our first strategic Social Impact Flagship charity partnership with Turn2us, we’re taking our commitment to the next level. Our Social Impact focus is on helping people prevent life shocks from turning into a crisis. Turn2us is at the forefront of the fight against UK poverty, and they work to help people thrive in the case of a life changing event. We’re proud to be working alongside them.

Beyond immediate support, developing preventive and proactive approaches are also important. We want to do more than help vulnerable people, their families and their communities recover financially. We want to help them become financially stronger and more resilient in the longer term – and give them the opportunity to take back control of their lives.

Together we’ll work to create a more equal society where everyone can gain access to the tools and support they need to recover from events that threaten their financial security.

I share the commitment of Thomas Lawson, CEO at Turn2us, for our collaboration. He said recently that “both our organisations have great insights and expertise to bring to the table, to create meaningful change”. I believe he has highlighted the key aim of our partnership – meaningful change. We need to think forwards and think bold. Together, we have the strength to succeed and make a real difference to people’s lives. What could be more important than that?

Barry O’Dwyer

CEO, Royal London