A couple discussing paperwork sat on a sofa

UK retail’s charity the Retail Trust calls on retailers to support staff during the most financially challenging month of the year. 

The Retail Trust, is calling on the industry to activate four Ds – download, donate, direct and delegate – during the charity’s Financial Health and Wellness month in January.

The Retail Trust CEO Chris Brook-Carter, explained: “Coming straight after the excesses of Christmas, January is when people are the hardest hit financially and money worries soar. Each January, the Trust receives a huge increase in applications for financial aid and support and, in light of the impact of Covid on job security, we are expecting this to hit record levels in 2021.”

Between 1 January and 1 December 2020, the Retail Trust provided over £828,000 of financial aid in the form of non-repayable grants to help retail colleagues remain in their own homes, feed their families or make hospital visits. This was an increase of 125 per cent on 2019.

“Financial health and wellness is a core pillar of mental health and it’s our mission at the Retail Trust to be there #forthefour in four retail workers who will experience a setback or difficult life event and find themselves in need of critical aid and support. This is why we are asking retailers to consider activating four Ds this month - download, donate, direct and delegate – to help us support every retail worker who needs our help during these difficult and stressful times.”

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium said: “2020 was an incredibly difficult year for everyone, and retail workers were no exception. In fact they continued to go above and beyond to serve us all throughout the pandemic. With all parts of the UK now effectively in our third lockdown, retail workers are under even more pressure. The work of the Retail Trust in supporting them is beyond invaluable. And it is critical that across the industry we do everything we can to support the mental health and wellbeing of the people we have relied upon so much during what are likely to be the toughest months yet to come.”

Retailers can show their support simply by talking about wellbeing and the resources available. the Retail Trust’s toolkit provides all of the materials necessary to start the conversation about financial wellness in the workplace.


Last year, the Trust issued 125 per cent more urgent financial grants to enable individuals to remain in their own homes and meet their essential needs. This would not be possible without industry support and the Trust gratefully welcomes donations to allow it to help more retail colleagues during their time of need.

Direct – to 0808 801 0808, contact form or www.retailtrust.org.uk/financial-aid  

The Retail Trust has relaunched the financial health section of its website, which can be found at www.retailtrust.org.uk/your-health-and-wellbeing/financial-health. Visitors will find lots of content on budgeting, planning, handling debt, talking to loved ones about debt, and debt and bereavement, among many other topics.

“The Retail Trust offers immediate help for everyone working in retail who is struggling as well as preventative support to enable individuals to manage their finances and plan for the future, but that’s only possible if workers know about us,” added Chris Brook-Carter.

“We implore all retailers to encourage colleagues and employees to get in touch with the Retail Trust if they need our support. Our free and confidential helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Retail colleagues can also access our wide range of digital resources at myrtwellbeing.org.uk/financial-support.”

Delegate – subscribe to wellbeing workshops at https://www.retailtrust.org.uk/helping-your-business/training

Retailers are encouraged to speak to their colleagues about the Retail Trust’s wellbeing workshops, where they will find tools to help create a happier and healthier workforce. The sessions are specifically designed for retailers and the unique challenges they face. Offering practical insights into many aspects of wellbeing, each workshop upskills participants to approach mental health and wellbeing with more confidence, a deeper understanding of the issues, and practical tools to take back into the workplace.