Supporting people like you and me since 1832

Midsummer Celebration 2018

Our much-loved Midsummer Celebration returned to Manchester on Thursday 14 June 2018. Held at the stunning Hilton Manchester Deansgate, the event was very well attended. Over 200 guests from across the retail sector and support service industries came together to celebrate with their teams, network with other retailers and hear about the work of the Trust.

The evening was hosted by comedian Jed Stone and guests were entertained by the amazing Furnace and the Fundamentals. The six Sydney showmen performed a non-stop party set of the greatest songs of all time, and the dancing continued into the early hours of the morning!

The Celebration was successful in raising awareness of how retailTRUST has been helping people like you and me since 1832. You can read some of the highlights below.

Helping Dylan regain his independence

We have been helping Tanya and Dylan since 2016 through our wellbeing services. Dylan lives with a muscle-wasting condition with no cure or treatment. When Dylan lost his ability to walk, Tanya contacted us for a welfare grant to adapt their home. Guests watched the heart-warming video below to see how we have supported the retail family.


Supporting Isla Austin to be cancer free

In December 2017, we launched an appeal to help Isla Austin be cancer free. Isla’s been fighting high-risk neuroblastoma since her first birthday. Isla has received extensive treatment and undergone numerous procedures as part of her treatment plan. Thanks to the generous support of the retail sector, Isla has been able to access the Bivalent Vaccine clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. 

The young retail family are still raising funds to pay for ongoing treatment costs including scans which Isla will continue to have for the next two years. Isla also needs wellbeing support and constant care as the side effects of the treatment are unknown.

Our special guests Rick and Anna Austin attended the event and guests pledged their support to the cause. If you would like to donate, please click here.


Enabling Selina to get into retail

Guests also heard from Dunelm Sales Adviser, Selina Frost. Selina explained how the retailRIGHT programme she attended helped her make the switch from care into retail. 

“I was told about the retailRIGHT programme and it sounded like exactly what I was looking for, and with opportunities available at great retailers such as Dunelm, I decided to pursue the course. The programme covered three weeks of pre-employment training, which gave me the skills I needed to make the switch from care into retail. I signed up for it and because of this, retailRIGHT has helped me get to where I am today. 

“On my course, there was a classroom of around twelve people and this was actually the start of our journey together – I’ve become good friends with the people who were taken on at Dunelm and we’re now part of the Dunelm family.

“If it wasn’t for the retailRIGHT programme, I would have never would have come to Dunelm and gone into retail.”


retailTRUST Chief Executive Richard Boland said of the evening:

“The city of Manchester has always been a very special place for the Trust in no small part because of the wonderful support Northern retail partners have given us over the last four decades to my personal knowledge.

“Once again the retail people of the North demonstrated why they have every right not only to hail the Northern economic powerhouse but also the powerhouse of caring and compassion for others in need. Great people, great city, great evening!”

We look forward to welcoming guests at our Midsummer Celebration in 2019. For more information, please email [email protected]