“I found the Retail Trust on my Next employee portal. I am absolutely speechless and overwhelmed by the support I have been given.”

Retail Assistant Andrea has worked for Next since 2005. She contacted the Retail Trust for financial and emotional support.

In 2017, Andrea’s partner was diagnosed with a colloid cyst on his brain. Soon after the diagnosis he was booked in for neurosurgery and the prognosis was looking good.

During the surgery Andrea received a phone call that changed their family’s life. When she arrived at the hospital, Andrea was told that there had been complications.

“When I got there, he was wired up to numerous monitors on a ventilator, not knowing what damage was done or if he would wake up.”

Her partner had suffered a stroke and received treatment in intensive care, for memory loss and meningitis.

“My partner was in hospital for a total of 26 weeks before being allowed home. He was kept in intensive care for six weeks. He had lost his memory permanently for the previous six years and also contracted meningitis.”

Andrea’s partner is still under the care of a neurosurgeon. When he first left hospital he couldn’t be left alone and needed 24-hour care.

The couple have three young children. One of them has complex needs, which puts huge pressure on Andrea.

“When my partner was taken ill with meningitis, unfortunately I took my son with me to see his dad. As we walked in to the room my partner was again on monitors and wired to machines - the hospital hadn’t had time to ring me.

“My son was devastated and it has had a definite impact on his mental health. He has an ASD and ADHD diagnosis.”

Ongoing memory loss and physical difficulties still affect Andrea’s partner. The family have recently received news that he will never be able to drive or work again. The emotional and financial impact that this has had on the couple and their children will be felt for the rest of their lives.

“Due to his permanent short-term memory damage, every day is a new day. He doesn’t even remember being in hospital.”

We provided a non-repayable grant to help with the complex needs of her partner’s developing condition and their evolving family life.

“The support has made a huge difference to our lives as everything is so tight and difficult with my partner unable to work ever again.

“I would highly recommend the Retail Trust as I feel someone has listened to what I am going through and been able to make a big difference.”

Find out more about the financial support the Retail Trust offers.

Support CaRe20 today to help the UK’s retail workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Retailers can help fund the appeal by contacting Claire Greenwood our Head of Funding.