Trust issues: Hope, health and happiness for everyone in retail
GUEST POST: Chris Brook-Carter, CEO, retailTRUST.
They say, ‘hope springs eternal’ and as we start to enjoy the first flushes of spring there is finally a real sense of hope in the air. We’re just weeks from the planned reopening of non-essential retail, more than 22 million people in the UK have had their first vaccinations and, everything crossed, the whole country will be released from lockdown in time to enjoy the summer.
Last week’s Budget also provided much needed certainties for the sector’s four million plus employees. Extending the furlough scheme will safeguard roles during the uncertain reopening period, while extending the business rates holiday and providing access to the new restart grant will somewhat help to get retailers back up and running so that staff can get back to work as soon as possible.
Hope is such a powerful word and one that’s never been more apt. We’re at a real turning point in this pandemic where we can finally start to look forward and plan for the next normal. Bringing hope, health and happiness to retail workers is central to retailTRUST’s ethos, and the theme behind our first industry event of 2021.
Alistair Campbell and David Potts will headline our free retail event
Championing the Health of Retail is a free to attend virtual event taking place on 10 and 11 May. It’s no coincidence we’re hosting it during Mental Health Awareness Week because we want to shine a light on the mental health pressures facing the UK’s retail workers. As a charity, we have responded to an incredible demand for our services since the start of the pandemic and it is clear that the retail sector has a huge role to play in building hope, health and happiness for our colleagues as we move out of this crisis.
I’m delighted that mental health advocate and former political aide Alastair Campbell is our headline speaker. He, personally, has done so much to break down the stigma and taboo surrounding mental health and mental illness but – as he rightly points out – there is still a long way to go.
Alistair will be joined by Morrisons’ David Potts, ASOS’s Nick Beighton, British Retail Consortium’s Helen Dickinson and Seasalt’s Paul Hayes, as well as John Lewis Partnership’s Jo Walmsley and Brewdog’s David McDowell.
As David Potts said, “This has been an exceptionally challenging year for everyone in retail. Health, wellbeing and especially mental health must continue to be at the very centre of the retail conversation as we make plans for the route out of Covid and prepare to come back stronger,” so I do hope you’ll join us in May to find out more about how you – and we – can continue to support the collective future wellbeing of our sector.
Visit retailtrust.org.uk/forthefour to register for retailTRUST’s free Championing the Health of Retail event which takes place 10 and 11 May. Retail workers wishing to access retailTRUST support can now contact the free and confidential helpline on 0808 801 0808 for full access to our wellbeing services.