Supermarket checkout

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GroceryAid is to launch a new awareness campaign aimed at highlighting its role in providing support to shopworkers facing the cost of living crisis and higher levels of customer abuse following the pandemic.

The campaign, named ‘Always Open’, will signpost workers to the charity’s free and confidential helpline, online support and financial grants. It is set to launch as part of GroceryAid Day, on 10 May, as a reminder that the charity is on hand “24 hours a day, 365 days a year” to anyone working within the grocery industry.

GroceryAid has created a range of printed materials including posters, wallet cards, stickers and leaflets that can be purchased by employers wishing to support the campaign. Orders can be placed online until 21 April. A range of digital assets, including social media banners, can also be downloaded from

“Colleagues need our help more than ever with the cost of living crisis causing emotional and financial pressure,” said Mandi Leonard, GroceryAid’s welfare director. “With the help of our supporters on GroceryAid Day, we can get the message out to all areas of the industry.

“Depression, anxiety and stress can become overwhelming at any time of the day or night, so it is important that colleagues know they can talk to GroceryAid immediately should they need to.”

Figures released last week by the retail trade union Usdaw show that shopworkers continue to face higher levels of violence and abuse than before the Covid-19 pandemic.

In Usdaw’s annual survey of 7,775 retail staff over the past year, 74% said they experienced verbal abuse, 49% were threatened and 8% were assaulted by customers.

While the figures were down from a Covid peak in 2021, largely due to the removal of abuse triggers like face masks, they were up on 2019, when 68% said they experienced verbal abuse, 43% were threatened by a customer and 5% were assaulted.

GroceryAid provides wellbeing and support services to anyone working in the grocery sector for free. It raises money through a series of high-profile events, including its annual music festival, Barcode.

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