GroceryAid: ‘Everyone can turn to us’

By Steve Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

GroceryAid can change lives
GroceryAid can change lives
I have been chief executive at GroceryAid for six months now and have been hugely impressed by the amazing work being carried out to support those who have served our industry well, but who for a variety of reasons have hit harder times.

In the past year, the charity helped more than 11,000 current and former colleagues, either financially or through the GroceryAid Helpline. Of those helped financially on a regular basis, 35% have worked in the manufacturing sector. It is thanks to the support of the grocery industry and the fantastic assistance of more than 400 volunteers that GroceryAid can continue to keep grocery people safe and warm in their own homes.

‘Those who need our help’

Our vision is that ‘Everyone can turn to us’ and it is vital those who need our help ask for it. Recent research has shown that 70% of people will not seek help when it is most needed. I, for one, resolutely refuse to ask for directions no matter how lost or late I am – being a Geography graduate it is a source of pride that I will eventually stumble upon my destination.

At GroceryAid, all the people who turn to us for help are rightly proud of what they have achieved in their careers. Most have given decades of service and I am grateful we can repay that in their hour of need.

Total confidentiality

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Perhaps though there are individuals that are reluctant to ask for help? I would say to grocery people – please don’t be, as there is a charity that can provide support totally confidentially. It is your charity, GroceryAid, and it offers both practical and financial assistance for all who need it from factory to store.

We are there for all grocery people, so if you know of anyone who may need assistance, please put them in touch with us; even if they are not eligible for our financial support our expert advisors on the confidential GroceryAid Helpline can point them in the right direction.

You can find out more about the help available by calling the Helpline on 08088 021122 or visiting​ 

Meanwhile, read an example of how GroceryAid can change lives in the box below.

  • Steve Barnes has spent his entire career in the grocery industry. He began in location planning, evaluating sites for Safeway, Presto and Lo-Cost stores before spending 17 years at grocery think tank IGD, serving 12 years as its business director. He also served for the past four years as commercial and membership director at the industry’s largest trade association, the Food and Drink Federation. He joined GroceryAid as chief executive in September 2016.


Real lives, real problems, real help

GroceryAid receives many letters of thanks from beneficiaries which illustrate the impact of the help that can be provided. We received this letter from Frank* recently:

“Thank you all at GroceryAid for the help and understanding you have shown since the death of my dear wife. Today is the anniversary of her death – time goes by so quickly. I am still being treated for depression, and it’s so hard to fill the gap in my life that she has left, as I loved her so much. My sons and grandchildren have been a big help, and life will never be the same, but I am still trying.

“I only have a small amount to live on each week and it’s a struggle to make ends meet, but that’s life. The regular grant you send me will help towards bills and things I cannot afford to buy on my income. I always know what I am going to do with the money before I get it and what a big help it is. I have always paid my bills and the thought of not being able to was so stressful, I just could not sleep. Thank you ever so much for your help.”

* Name changed to protect identity

Related topics: People & Skills

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