This year’s Impact Report demonstrates the changing nature of GroceryAid’s work. GroceryAid has been providing emotional, practical and financial support for grocery colleagues since 1857. GroceryAid works in partnership with hundreds of supporters across the trade and assists over 17,000 colleagues, 73% of working age. GroceryAid distributes £4.25M to help grocery people from supermarkets, convenience stores, wholesalers, manufacturers, distribution, sales and all support functions.

The last year saw GroceryAid support more colleagues than ever before and we take great pride in that achievement. As we look forward, Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the nation and on our trade. We expect rising demand for our services, and we are geared up to help colleagues who need assistance from GroceryAid.

We helped over 17,000 grocery colleagues in the past 12 months, and we remain humbled by the feedback we get from beneficiaries - this inspires all of us in GroceryAid every day.

I became President at the start of 2020 succeeding Andrew Higginson. I want to say a huge thank you to Andrew for his commitment and contribution to the charity over two and a half years as President.

In 2020, our colleagues have done an incredible job sustaining the nation through the pandemic. These have been deeply worrying times for many and I am proud that GroceryAid has been able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with colleagues as we have done over the past 163 years.

Charles Wilson
GroceryAid President
“It’s been another year of positive change and development at GroceryAid with more people helped than ever before, over 17,000 grocery colleagues have been supported by the charity since our last report.”
The Year in Numbers
spent helping grocery colleagues in need
home visits
volunteers supported the charity
people awarded a financial grant to help in a crisis
grocery colleagues supported
basic household items purchased for beneficiaries
of people we helped were of working age
people given financial support
enrolled beneficiaries attended outings including theatre trips and Christmas lunches
Enhanced Helpline Services

Last year 13,871 grocery colleagues and immediate family members contacted our 24/7 Helpline. This was a 12% increase in colleagues needing practical and emotional support across a broad range of topics.

With most of the colleagues we support being of working age, we recognise the need to keep our services relevant so in 2020 we invested to enhance our Helpline.

colleagues supported through the Helpline
increase in calls to the Helpline
increase in colleagues accessing Legal Support
increase in colleagues helped
increase in Telephone Counselling
increase in Relate Counselling
increase in Live Chat cases through our website
Trained Counsellors The Helpline has UK based trained accredited BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) Counsellors answering calls to provide ‘in the moment’ emotional support for colleagues who are anxious or stressed.
Counselling For those who are recognised as needing a more in-depth approach to mental wellbeing, structured, solution focussed counselling services are available. Programmes are one-to-one and include six sessions over the telephone or face to face.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) structured online sessions, supported by a trained Advisor offering a safe space for clients to learn and develop alternative ways of thinking and behaviour to improve mental health.
Emotional Support App Woebot is a digitally advanced new service available via an App for iPhone or Android. This artificial intelligence counsellor allows a user to access ‘in the moment’ emotional support 24/7.
Telephone Information Specialists Colleagues now have access to a dedicated team of Telephone Information Specialists from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday who are all Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) trained and have access to the CAB information database.
Management Information Our Helpline partners Care first can provide Management Support and Information that complements existing personnel / Human Resources functions with counselling, information, and advice.
When Crisis Hits
remain our top referrer
of colleagues receiving a crisis grant are of working age
is the main reason colleagues come to us for financial support
provided in crisis grants
of beneficiaries said applying for a crisis grant was easy
were happy with turnaround time
remains our top charity referrer

With applications increasing, the main reason that colleagues apply for a grant remains illness causing financial hardship. Colleagues inevitably are hit by a fall in income when suffering any form of long-term sickness.

Research shows that one in six adults experience mental health challenges at some point in their lives, so we have introduced new counselling services alongside crisis grants to help colleagues back into the workplace and ensure a sustainably positive impact on their lives.

Kesha’s Story
Kesha struggled to work whilst caring for her son who needed mental health support. GroceryAid helped the family with a crisis grant and debt advice.
Read now
David’s Story
When David’s marriage broke down, he turned to GroceryAid for financial help and legal advice which helped him to continue seeing his children.
Read now
Looking to the future

2019 saw an increase in awareness amongst companies as landing key messages to colleagues was an integral element of the work of GroceryAid over the year.

To remain relevant, we continually modernise our services to ensure they meet colleague and corporate needs. Our approach is to seek out specialists in key areas and partner with them to deliver resources that offer best-in-class results.

In April 2020 we moved our Helpline provider to Care first, specialists in employee assistance programmes, counselling and wellbeing. We experienced a 70% increase in calls to the Helpline in the following quarter.

This move also meant we could launch our most digitally advanced service, Woebot. A friendly artificial intelligence Chatbot available 24/7 via an App to support through everyday challenges. Woebot can help users understand their feelings, practice mindfulness, manage loneliness and measure and track their mood.

The role digital plays in raising awareness of GroceryAid and encouraging access to our services is vital and our new website has received positive feedback from both beneficiaries and supporters. The streamlined site provides concise information for colleagues needing help and a variety of resources to assist supporters and volunteers.

See all support available to grocery colleagues
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