According to a report by the Lagatum Institute, nearly one in four people (more than 15 million) are in poverty in the UK. Citizens Advice found that six million people across the UK have fallen behind on household bills because of the health crisis with carers, shielders and key workers being hardest hit.
Financial pressure can have a detrimental effect on health. PayPlan’s 2021 client survey of 2,946 respondents found that 82% of individuals said that money worries were impacting their mental health, causing sleepless nights, anxiety and depression. Our partner Wagestream, who is supporting the appeal, found that one in four people they surveyed were worried about making it to pay day.
At the Retail Trust, our mission is to lead the way, bring the industry together and set the standards in hope, health and happiness in retail. We currently support 600,000 retail colleagues across nearly 200 businesses. As the charity for the sector, we’ve experienced an enormous increase in the financial and emotional help which has been desperately 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.
Since the first lockdown in March 2020, we have delivered over 11,000 counselling sessions and provided more than £1.2 million in financial aid to enable our 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. With the end of furlough and more job losses looming, 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.