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Giving back to key workers in retail

Words by Smiley Team

As demand for retail workers rose by 90% last year, The Retail Trust has launched a fundraising campaign to help the industry get back on its feet. 

The pandemic created huge challenges for retail, with 170,000 job losses and more than 15,000 retail stores closing last year, affecting retail colleagues financially, physically and emotionally.

But The Retail Trust is trying to help: their mission is to lead the way, bring the industry together and set the standards in hope, health and happiness in retail. 

Currently, the charity supports 600,000 retail colleagues across nearly 200 businesses. It has experienced an enormous increase in the financial and emotional help needed by retail workers and their families who’ve dealt with uncertainty, the prospect of redundancy, changing restrictions and safety measures, as well as physical and verbal abuse from customers.

(Read more about the communities repurposing disused shops)

Since the first lockdown in March 2020, the charity has delivered more than 11,000 counselling sessions and provided more than £1.2 million in financial aid to enable their vulnerable colleagues to pay their rent and utility bills, to remain in their own homes.

“In partnership with businesses and leaders, we have a moral responsibility to look after the health and wellbeing of our people and industry," they say. "Demand for our services is forecast to escalate even more than the 87% rise we experienced since the pandemic.

“To enable us to keep on protecting and improving the lives of our retail colleagues, we are calling on every retailer and colleague to come together and support our emergency appeal so we can continue to transform lives for good.”

The Retail Trust is asking people to get involved in their challenge to walk, run, swim or cycle four miles, through a donation of a minimum of £4, and by nominating four other people to do the same. 

(Read more here about the importance of charity shops)

It says: “Let’s get retail moving and raising funds together, because support makes us all stronger.”

You can make a donation to The Retail Trust’s campaign for its JustGiving page.

Additionally, The Retail Trust’s financial wellbeing campaign launched this month, with expert guidance to help people with redundancy, debt, savings or loans. 

You can find more resources to help manage your financial wellness on The Retail Trust’s website

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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