Trust issues: join me and be there #forthefour
Chris Brook-Carter, CEO, retailTRUST: While one in four adults will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life, every single one of us – four in four – will experience a major setback or life event that can affect our emotional wellbeing.
retailTRUST believes that we should be there #forthefour in four of retail workers facing such challenges to provide them with access to emotional, physical, vocational and financial support as and when they need it.
Retail – and retail workers – have been hit hard by the pandemic. We know this because we have seen a huge uplift in requests for help, including a 50% increase in applications for financial aid between March and July, and a 404% year-on-year rise in the number of visitors to our website looking for online support.
Applications from people seeking health support, the vast majority of which related to mental health issues, rocketed 164% year-on-year in June and July. Between January and August, we provided 3,400 counselling sessions to help colleagues struggling with difficult emotions and situations, and we have gifted £381,090 worth of non-repayable grants to keep some of our most vulnerable colleagues from becoming homeless, unable to feed their families or make essential hospital visits.
They also are facing untold stress and anxiety from three sides:
- Financial instability due to store closures, financial performance, job losses, the end of furlough payments and uncertainty around the incoming Job Support Scheme.
- Uncertainty and the fear of the unknown, caused by the threat of redundancy and the overwhelming nature of negative mainstream reporting about the future of our sector.
- Social disconnect, at home and work, as a result of lockdown restrictions, which have also led to an increase in physical, verbal and racial assaults from customers and a ‘hero to zero’ change in public opinion about store workers.
We all have a responsibility to look after the people that contribute to this industry’s financial success, and to build a healthy, happy, diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects retail’s position as the premier industry in the UK economy.
So please join us for our free, three-day ‘Championing the Health of Retail’ event between the 19th and 21st October, where presenters including Boots COO Tracey Clements, Dixons Carphone Chief People Officer Paula Coughlan, former Asda CEO Andy Clarke, ASOS non-exec director Rita Clifton CBE and Dr Adrian Massey will provide businesses, leaders and colleagues with the tools needed to lead our industry, our teams and ourselves in a new professional world where health is at the heart of how we work.
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