Lakeland-Retail Trust-visual

 25 October 2023

Kitchenware and homeware retailer Lakeland has begun working with retail industry charity the Retail Trust to protect the wellbeing of its 1300+ members of staff.

They will be given access to a range of personalised mental health resources thanks to the new partnership, including counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy for themselves and younger people in their care, along with discounts, rewards and financial aid.

Leaders from Lakeland will also join more than 100 other retailers at the Retail Trust’s Leaders’ Summit in London next week to discuss the future of wellbeing across the industry, including how to tackle rising levels of customer abuse.

Steve Knights, CEO at Lakeland, said: “Over the past few years, we have developed a series of initiatives to make sure Lakeland is an amazing place for people to not only work but also flourish; from rolling out mental health first aider training, to colleague development programmes, as well as organising numerous events to connect our teams.

“A brand new initiative we are incredibly proud and excited to announce is our partnership with the Retail Trust. The Retail Trust has been caring for and protecting the lives of people working in retail for nearly 200 years and believe the health of colleagues is the foundation they need to exceed both in work but also their own lives. We are so happy to be able to offer this outstanding service to all our employees and share the Retail Trust’s cause of creating hope, health and happiness in the workplace and beyond.”

bp, WHSmith and The Entertainer are among other businesses that have joined forces with the Retail Trust this year to support retail workers across the country, as eight in ten admit to experiencing deteriorating mental health. Half of retailers also told the Retail Trust they are seeing a rise in absences linked to mental health issues as part of research for its 2023 health of retail report.

The Retail Trust’s Leaders’ Summit on 2 November will help retailers explore some of the issues facing staff and what retailers can do to create happier workplaces, with New Look’s CEO Helen Connolly among those sharing their own experiences at the event.

Chris Brook-Carter, chief executive of the Retail Trust, said: “We’re seeing more and more workers now looking to their employers for a lot of the help they need to manage their mental health. And organisations are increasingly understanding the importance of developing happier and healthier workforces when it comes to boosting creativity and productivity that will drive their businesses forward.

“That’s exactly why we’re encouraging other retailers to follow Lakeland’s lead and provide more support that will protect the wellbeing of their people and let them take control of their physical, financial and mental health.”

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