GroceryAid spent £5m delivering emotional, practical and financial support to industry colleagues in need during 2020-21.
The charity’s 2020/21 Impact Report reveals 17,492 incidences of support were given to colleagues from manufacturers, convenience stores, wholesalers, supermarkets, distribution, sales and support functions.
The report shows 4,200 colleagues received financial support and more than 13,000 colleagues contacted the 24/7 helpline (+12%), with a 148% increase in relationship counselling, and 40% of all law advice sessions being about family law.
In addition, the report reveals that the charity received 3,737 applications for financial support, 1,327 children helped with school essentials, 416 working carers received a grant, and 493 colleagues received support through the Covid-19 fund.
Employers remain the top referrer to the charity for colleagues in need with the main reason for applications being financial hardship triggered by illness.
Charles Wilson (pictured), GroceryAid President, said: “We anticipated rising demand for the GroceryAid services and were able to provide assistance to record numbers reaching out for support. This was possible as a result of the generosity from trade in backing the charity through an extraordinarily difficult period. This has been one of the biggest challenges the trade charity has faced in its 164 year history and the Impact Report demonstrates how we were able to accelerate our support available to colleagues when it mattered most.”
Mandi Leonard, GroceryAid Welfare Director, added: ‘‘‘We still have a long way to go for financial and emotional recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Our Covid-19 Fund remains open for those who need mental health support, financial grants and bereavement financial assistance. We know that normality for many of our colleagues is still far away. We will continue to be the rainbow after the storm and we are here for all colleagues in the grocery industry.”
The GroceryAid Helpline is available 24/7, 365 days a year on 08088 021 122.