Trust issues: from Covid to Ukraine, it’s important to know the Retail Trust is here for you right now
Guest Post: By Chris Brook-Carter, chief executive, the Retail Trust.
As COVID restrictions end in England and we appear to be emerging from a pandemic that has now killed six million people globally, it’s natural to feel hopeful for a return to certainty and security. Unfortunately, the events in Russia and Ukraine over the past two weeks have put an end to many of those hopes.
There are many reasons why the war in Ukraine may be having an effect on your wellbeing, not least for those in the UK who have friends and family in or attempting to leave Ukraine right now. If that is you, my heart goes out to you. I can only imagine how it must feel to endure the heart-breaking pain and worry that comes with having loved ones caught up in the middle of a war zone.
You also don’t need to be directly affected by this deeply unsettling situation to be experiencing feelings of anxiety, stress and despair. As painful as these feelings may be, they are also completely normal and very valid. And if that is you, it is equally important that you seek out advice and support to help you deal with these concerns.
The Retail Trust has created a toolkit of online resources for organisations to share with colleagues who may be feeling distressed, uncertain or helpless about the news in Ukraine. You can download these for free from our website here.
Finally, we acknowledge there is also going to be an impact on our own economy as a result of this war and that the worrying cost of living crisis could soon be made worse by further rises in the price of energy and oil. We are concerned about the impact this is having on the people that the Retail Trust supports, with more and more having to make very difficult situations about whether to pay for food or use the money to cover energy bills or rent. This is especially difficult as many are of course only just emerging from the financial insecurity caused by the pandemic.
All this leaves me to say right now is that I want to make sure that everyone in the UK retail sector knows that that the Retail Trust is here for you and your colleagues during this time, however you may be experiencing it and whatever your concerns. Our helpline is still open, we continue to offer financial aid and mental health counselling and we are adding more resources to our website all the time. So do get in touch with us if you’re affected by this conflict in any way and please help to spread the word that we are here and ready to listen. We will do whatever we can to help.
Call our 24-hour helpline on 0808 801 0808 to speak to one of our trained advisors for in the moment support, or visit retailtrust.org.uk for guidance and tips on how to cope with the current situation.
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