This is the busiest time of year for retail workers seeking financial help
Guest comment: Chris Brook-Carter, chief executive, the Retail Trust
When it comes to retailer workers seeking financial aid and advice, the Retail Trust’s helpline and website is always busiest at the start of the year. But right now, the rapidly rising cost of living is only adding to the pressures facing so many people.
From sleepless nights to stress, worrying about money can have a huge impact on our mental health, so the support we provide is designed to help people working in the sector get through difficult times like these; times when they may not have enough money to pay their rent, utility bills or meet other essential needs, or need more guidance on how to deal with redundancy, debts or loans.
We have already seen demand for our services soar over the last two years as people are forced to cope with an unprecedented loss of jobs from across the industry, as well as other changes in their personal circumstance since the pandemic. And while we remain optimistic that the world will continue to open up and create new opportunities, our concern is that the difficulties facing the industry could also increase as we head into another very unpredictable year, with retailers also facing escalating inflation, fuel and supply chain costs.
This is why we urge anyone who thinks they might need our support and advice to get in touch now. You can apply for financial aid from the Retail Trust if you have worked in retail for more than three months, or have been made redundant or had to give up your job after more than three years working in the industry. And there are other important steps you can take to help deal with the uncertainties and worries around your finances, such as talking with a loved one or someone you trust who might be able to help you look at next steps to tackle the problems. There are also other charities and organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau or the Money Advice Service who will be able to give you free and confidential advice to deal with debt, or provide tools to help you with budgeting. You can apply for financial aid or access advice and information on who else to reach out to by visiting the Retail Trust’s website.
Whatever the rest of the year holds, it’s important to remember that the Retail Trust will be here for everyone working in retail so please get in touch or encourage colleagues and employees to get in touch with us if you think we can help. You can go here to download resources from the Retail Trust that will help engage employees about their financial health, and our free and confidential helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0808 801 0808.
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