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INDUSTRY INSIGHT


“DON’T LOOK A GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH”


Some DIY Week readers may have heard of the Rainy Day Trust, some may not, but do you know enough about what the Trust does for the industry, how it can help you personally, or your business and why DIY Week will be supporting the charity again at this year’s DIY Week Awards?


A


lthough the name has changed over the years, the Rainy Day Trust (RDT) has been working since 1843 to aid those who


work, or have worked within the home improvement or enhancement industries. That


sector, housewares, garden industry and builders’ merchants.


Originally set up as a pension fund for distressed members of the trade and their widows, the organisation now offers a vast array of services, from financial support and legal advice, to counselling and apprenticeships.


Often the first on hand to offer support and advice when a round of redundancies has been announced in the industry, the Trust makes a huge difference to a lot of people’s lives and carries out vital work as the only charity actively helping our sector. However, sadly, the RDT is met with apathy from some major retailers and organisations, who don’t see the benefit of engaging with the charity and who, in turn, don’t make their employees aware of the services and support they are entitled to, should they find themselves in a tough situation. Rainy Day Trust CEO Bryan Clover tells DIY Week: “When B&Q went through their last batch of closures – and Homebase too actually – I wrote to every store manager affected and said ‘we’re here, we can help all of your people, we can help them re-train, we can help with re-settlement, new jobs,’ all sorts… and nobody replied. I wrote to 60 store managers, I wrote to the head office, to the CEO, to the HR director, not one person bothered.” But there are some organisations just how valuable


who realise


a resource the charity is. Wyevale Nurseries is one example. Bryan met with the management


team at its


head office and now the Trust helps around a dozen of its staff every year, with a wide range of problems, such as help with heating, replacing


10 DIY WEEK 10 MAY 2019 includes the DIY


helping to fundraise. It’s a symbiotic relationship and it works very well. “I presented to 350 of his staff


recently and they had no idea they could get debt advice for free. We are working to get the message out about what we can offer... It’s just getting people to understand there’s no catch and, as a business, we can save you money.”


“Some businesses don’t care and


never will,” sighs Bryan. “Others are simply too busy and we send them out info packs but they go in the bin. Everybody knows that a happy staff member is a productive staff member – it doesn’t matter what they do, if someone doesn’t have stress leaning on them, they will produce more because they won’t be thinking about what’s going on at home.


“For example, if someone’s spouse


white goods, fuel for cars, getting cars fixed, and so on. The list of what the Trust can do really is endless and there is nothing to lose by engaging with the charity, as it won’t cost you anything – it exists purely to support people within the industry, including those people working within your business.


The Rainy Day Trust’s mission statement is to relieve and assist persons in need; providing financial and other assistance to improve the financial position, dignity and self- esteem of those people. The charity’s vision is that everyone should have the fundamental requirements for a happy life.


Another example of an organisation working closely with the Trust is wholesaler, Stax Trade Centres. Bryan explains: “You speak to someone like [joint managing director] David Hibbert and he cottoned on very quickly that we can save him a fortune in recruitment costs because we help him retain his staff. He’s doing something good for his people. They feel valued and don’t feel they


have to go somewhere else. He also doesn’t see what we do as a threat or political statement about his pay structure; he sees us making a difference and providing a service Stax can’t.”


Bryan continues: “It’s the same with Matthew Cantwell at Kitchencraft who realised he can get an employee assistance pan (EAP) for free with us. He then supports us by


is threatening to leave them, we can offer couples’ counselling. It’s all those things that maybe HR don’t want to get involved in but we can step in and provide support.” Any dealings with or applications


made to the charity are anonymous and remain confidential, so employers don’t ever need to know that anyone within their business has been helped or the details about what support has been made available. “There is a lot of stoicism with people thinking ‘I’ll muddle through’ but you don’t need to,” Bryan insists. “Other people in the company don’t have to know. It’s


HOW CAN THE RAINY DAY TRUST HELP YOUR BUSINESS?


• Improve staff retention and productivity by providing help and support for your workforce • Provide training and e-learning to help develop your team • Support for staff at risk of redundancy or once made redundant • Help your employees feel happy and valued • Support your HR department • Provide a free info pack complete with posters, info cards and any material needed to put up within your business flagging up a number they can call or how to apply for help from the charity All you need to do is email Bryan Clover for more information bryan@rainydaytrust.org.uk


www.diyweek.net


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