As Brexit uncertainty continues to bite and retailers cut costs, industry charity the Rainy Day Trust (RDT) says it has seen a huge uptake in enquiries from people seeking support this month, with more applications from the DIY sector than ever before.
The organisation, which provides help and support for who currently works in or who has worked in the home improvement and housewares sector, has seen “a broad mix of enquiries this month,” said Rainy Day Trust CEO Bryan Clover.
Speaking to DIY Week this week, Mr Clover described July as “the busiest month we’ve ever had…ever!” He continued: “Typically February is our busy month, when we make our annual cold weather payment available, but we have already processed more than 70 cases in July and we are only on the 23rd of the month!”
A lot of requests have been for financial support where people are struggling to buy one-off items, such as beds, washing machines, and fridges. However, there have also been calls for emotional support, including two enquiries this month about attending bereavement retreats. Plus, the Trust’s apprenticeship scheme continues to gather pace and accounts for a number of this month’s applications. “We have also given financial support to a gentleman to re-train as an electrician after an injury prevented him from continuing with his previous career in the sector,” said Mr Clover, in his overview of the vast range of help the Trust has provided this month alone.
Whilst a few enquiries have come from retired home improvement sector employees, Mr Clover has noted a big increase in applications from people of working age. “All the uncertainty around Brexit really has people at the end of their tether,” he said. Equally, with retailers cutting their workers’ hours in some instances, Mr Clover said he sees applicants “going from full-time to part-time work but costs and bills are still going up." He continued: "Current figures may show that wages are currently rising above inflation but that is not equally spread. The housewares sector is struggling big time and the DIY sector is starting to. We have had lots more DIY applicants coming through than ever before.”
To meet demand and help support those in need within our industry, the Rainy Day Trust urgently needs your help. “With every pound we bring in, I have to stretch it as far as I can and that’s what often takes the time when processing an application,” Mr Clover said.
You can donate money to the charity instantly here or even make a donation of tools or product available to the Trust to help with apprenticeship applications. For more information, visit www.rainydaytrust.org.uk or please contact Bryan Clover on 0121 237 1132 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Equally, if you are in need of assistance and think the Trust may be able to help you, apply for support here.