Industry charity the Rainy Day Trust (RDT) is launching a campaign to raise awareness about potential poverty among former and potentially current members of the home enhancement sector – including a drive to support apprentices in learning a trade and help them avoid poverty in the first place.
RDT ceo Bryan Clover is writing to the local press in key regions, highlighting the work of the charity and the opportunities available. He explained: “Recent research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said that 1.25 million people in the UK are ‘destitute’. That means they can’t afford the basic things in life like food and clothing or heat for their homes. How many of these people come from our industry? How many are colleagues that you have worked with, or are maybe stood next to you today at work? How many are pensioners?
“The media used words like ‘shocking’ and ‘unacceptable’ when talking about the research. We would add another word: ‘Disgusted!’
“But what people affected by low incomes need is help. The Rainy Day Trust exists to help people who are in this position. We can offer regular financial help or purchase one-off items like winter clothing. We can provide a fuel poverty package or support for an apprentice to learn a trade and avoid poverty.”
The RDT operates across three sectors – builders merchants, DIY & Hardware and Housewares & Tabletop – which have a combined turnover of more than £50billion and employ close to 500,000 people. It is the only charity which exists solely to help people who have worked in these industries, including DIY shops, hardware stores, builders merchants, garden centres, cookshops, and all the manufacturers, distributors and retailers in the UK who supply them.
The RDT grew out of two benevolent funds for the industry with roots back to 1843, and now offers a range of services to retail and supplier employees – from a regular cash payment to white goods and even house repairs.
Contact the Rainy Day Trust, www.rainydaytrust.org.uk, helpline 0203 192 0486.