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Industry launches £10m appeal for shop workers

Retail Trust, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Retail Week and World Retail Congress (RWRC) and have joined forces in a bid to raise £10m for retail colleagues who are facing financial distress as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fundraising campaign called “CaRe 20 – Caring for Retail during Covid-19”, aims to raise £10m to provide financial, emotional, physical and vocational support for retail workers and their families who may be ineligible for government support during the health emergency.

The money raised through CaRe20 will support thousands of people working in retail through a host of initiatives, including:

  • Financial grants to assist with food, essential bills, childcare and other necessities
  • Telephone and online counselling to help those with stress and anxiety
  • Upskilling and retraining for those facing redundancy or seeking a new role
  • Online self-help tools and resources through myrtwellbeing.org.uk 

Funds will also be made available to employees of retail’s supporting industries, including logistics, warehousing and other areas of the supply chain.

A statement from CaRe20 said: ”All of them are putting the health and wellbeing of their communities before their own so that everyone can obtain the essential supplies they need during these difficult times. To be blunt, they are risking catching Covid-19 to help us avoid catching it. They are putting themselves in harm’s way for our good.

“Many others are being made redundant, put on unpaid leave, or are self-isolating themselves or with their families, unable to work. These individuals will find work difficult to come by, or may not have jobs to go back to.”

It added: “The UK government has already committed to financially supporting those retained employees who cannot work with an 80% subsidy up to £2,500 a month. We believe this, whilst excellent, will not come close to solving the real problems.”

Richard Boland, chief executive of Retail Trust, said: “Covid-19 has created unprecedented challenges for society and the retail community. How we all care for each other will define how well the nation will come out of this in the future. We are experiencing unprecedented demand for our online services especially via myrtwellbeing.org.uk and we are ready with emergency funding to support all involved but the length and depth of the need for support will dwarf anything we have seen in the last one hundred years. We need your help.”

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