Major charity offers 13,000 of its shop staff and volunteers access to mental health support

Cancer Research UK is offering its shop staff and volunteers access to mental health support through a partnership with shop workers’ wellbeing charity the Retail Trust.

Through the deal the medical research charity’s 2,000 workers and 11,000 volunteers will be able to access support offered by the Retail Trust.

This includes counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy for themselves as well as children in their care.

“The wellbeing and health of our dedicated volunteers and shop colleagues is of the utmost importance to us and we are always thinking of ways to make Cancer Research UK a better place to volunteer and work,” said Cancer Research UK’s director of trading Julie Byard.

“With so many people choosing to dedicate their time to our charity because of a close connection to cancer, we recognised the value of working with the Retail Trust to provide wellbeing support to all our volunteers and colleagues.

“We can’t wait to see the positive impact this is going to have across our charity shops.”

According to the Retail Trust four in five shop workers have suffered from “deteriorating wellbeing” over the last year, with half of retail employers seeing a rise in absences due to mental health issues.

Retail Trust chief executive Chris Brook-Carter said that retailers are looking to access mental health support for their staff to tackle “worrying wellbeing trends we’re seeing across the industry”.

A survey by human resources firm Personio Foundation revealed earlier this month that two in five UK charity workforces are blighted by overwork and presenteeism, where staff work despite being ill.

Almost a quarter of charities are reporting high levels of burnout, this survey also found.

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