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Industry bodies launch £10m appeal to support retail workers

Tom Bottomley
30 March 2020

The retailTRUST charity, RWRC – the home of Retail Week and World Retail Congress, and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have linked up in a bid to raise £10m for retail workers who are facing financial distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fundraising campaign, called "CaRe 20 – Caring for Retail during COVID-19", is aiming to raise the money to provide financial, physical and emotional support to retail workers and their families who may be ineligible for government support during the health emergency.

The aim is to offer some kind of lifeline to those on retail’s frontline who are putting their customers’ health and wellbeing before their own, including contractors and temporary staff, those who have already been left out of work, and employees who may need more than just financial help.

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, counselling and upskilling for those facing redundancy, as well as an online self-help tool through

Chris Brook-Carter, incoming CEO of retailTRUST and managing director of RWRC by Ascential, said: “We have seen from the start of this crisis that retail and the millions of colleagues who work in the sector will be critical in the UK’s response to COVID-19. However, what is also apparent is the damage it can do to so many households – financially, physically and mentally – who rely on retail for their incomes.

“This appeal has the capacity to support the many colleagues who are ensuring vital stores and supply chains are kept open over coming weeks, whilst also acting as a safety net for those who are now facing financial and psychological distress as a result of a loss of income.”

Helen Dickinson OBE, CEO of the BRC added: "The retail industry is facing its biggest challenge in decades with many colleagues under enormous emotional and financial strain. Supporting the wellbeing of those in the front line is essential.

“This underlines the need for a strong government response to the crisis, and it is why initiatives like CaRe20 are so important. We urge everyone to offer their support and kindness to the millions of retail workers across the country at this difficult time."

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