The number of grocery industry staff in need of help is growing, with 69 percent of people helped by GroceryAid are now of working age, reveals the latest Impact Report from the industry charity.

Crisis grants, which are typically needed when someone is suffering a short-term crisis such as being off sick or following a relationship breakdown, saw spend increase by 40 percent, highlighting the number of working colleagues living on a financial tightrope. 92 percent of all crisis grants made during the year were to those of working age, noted the report.

The number of people receiving support from the charity has seen an increase of 8 percent last year, reaching 15,784 people.

Emotional and practical support also rose over the year, with a 10 percent growth in use of the charity’s confidential helpline service. Notable rises here included 35 percent more colleagues seeking financial advice and 24 percent more accessing Law Express support.

For a second successive year employers were GroceryAid’s primary referrer, as industry awareness of the charity continues to grow.

“GroceryAid works closely with senior HR Directors across the sector to ensure that programmes are relevant to colleagues needs while complimenting the work they do within their own organisations,” said Mandi Leonard, welfare director at the charity.

GroceryAid has recently introduced two new services, a Health and Wellbeing resource in April and the Workplace Critical Incident Support service this month.

The Health and Wellbeing resource supports a diverse range of topics across the pillars of mind, body and behaviour. The critical incident support service provides access to onsite visits by professional counsellors to support individuals who have witnessed or been the victim of a traumatic incident at work.