Retail Trust aims to pay out £1.3 million in hardship loans and services this year to retail staff past and present.
In an exclusive interview with Retail Gazette, the charity’s CEO Nigel Rothband said that this figure – if achieved - would be an increase of around £300,000 on the money spent on these causes in the last 12 months.
Rothband, who became CEO of Retail Trust in November 2003, says the organisation’s goal is to continue growing in this way each year to cement its position as “the relevant and principal charity for the retail sector”.
“I’m proud of what we have done in the last few years - we’ve seen income increase year-on-year, and our contact base and helpline have grown too,” he explained.
“We have great ambition but we recognise we are in tough times and have put a sensible budget together this year.
“It’s difficult out there, but fundraising and grants are both going up. We want to see this continue forever because, in essence, this is why we exist.”
Retail Trust’s heritage and history is based on retirement estates provided for ex-retail employees, but over the last decade the charity has seen significant growth off the back of its helpline.
Anyone who currently works in retail or has previously held a career in the industry can contact the organisation to seek help with any financial, social or medical problems they may have.
Whether the issues are work-related or of a personal nature, the Trust’s helpline team of eight staff and total workforce of 135 people provide a welcome support network for the retail sector’s employees.
Rothband commented: “Increasingly, the helpline has become a driving force for the charity. With it we hope to look after the three million or so people who work in the industry.”
Read more from Nigel Rothband in Retail Gazette’s Big Interview, published on Monday.