In its almost 200 years, has the mission of the Retail Trust ever been more relevant than now?
While this impact report deals with a year ending April 2020, when the COVID-19 crisis in the UK was still in its infancy, it is impossible to report on our activities without the health emergency dominating the narrative.
Our industry has been on the frontline of the pandemic both in terms of its devastating impact but also the best of the country’s response. There has been so much to admire in how retailers have adapted and continued tokeep stores and ecommerce operations open and serving the country. But the pressure on the health and happiness of retail’s almost three million colleagues has been significant.
For every £1 the Retail Trust spent last year, we created £6.81 of social and economic value, which is a 20% increase compared to the previous year.
Some 160,827 people accessed our helpline and digital self-help support, we facilitated over 7,000 counselling sessions to colleagues from over 200 organisations dealing with rising levels of anxiety, while nearly £400,000 in non-repayable grants were awarded to families struggling with the financial headwinds of the last 12 months. And, these figures will undoubtedly spike as the full extent of COVID-19’s effects become clear.
This performance has allowed us to continue to deliver on our purpose to champion the health and wellbeing of retail employees and their families through emotional, physical, vocational and financial support and continue to provide pioneering residential services to former colleagues.
Meanwhile, the outstanding teams on our residential estates have reacted with great compassion and skill to continue to deliver industry-leading care to our retired colleagues in our five estates up and down the country.
Download our impact report to find out about how we help the retail industry protect their most vital asset – their people.
As we look forward, the challenge now is to build a coalition of businesses and leaders that recognises the responsibility the industry has to look after the people that contribute to its financial success. In doing so, we will build a healthy, happy, diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects retail’s position as the premier industry in the UK economy.
As society resets, our call to everyone passionate about retail is to seize this once-in-a-lifetime chance and get behind the aim of the Retail Trust, protect the happiness of our colleagues and put health at the heart of how we work.