Welfare has had an unmissable headline since I became Master in May, as we launched a new campaign called ‘One Step at a Time’. We’re not asking for money but just a single act of advocacy by inviting companies to communicate to employees (and there are 338,000 of them in our amazing industry) how to access financial help if times are tough. They then join the growing ranks of those companies who are ‘One Step Champions’ of our industry.
Upsurge in welfare requests
One Step at a Time has resulted in an unprecedented 42% upsurge in welfare giving. Testament that getting the word out there means more people within our industry can access help if a curve ball strikes.
Who are the trail blazers in our industry who have become One Step Champions?
61 wonderful companies, representing just under 15,000 employees, have committed to a simple communications exercise to spread the word about our charity to thousands. It is as simple as, for example, placing messages on websites, in payslips, in staff newsletters or at staff conferences, line manager meetings or simply putting a poster in common areas, bathrooms staff rooms and even on company vehicles.
The companies that have signed up so far are: Acclaim Upholstery, Acres Consultancy, Artistic Upholstery, Axminster Tools & Machinery, Belfield Furnishings, Baker Furniture, Barker and Stonehouse, Biesse Group UK, Bisley, Blum UK, Burbidge, Cabinet Maker, Camira Fabrics, CD (UK) Ltd, Celtheath, Crofts and Assinder Ltd, David Gundry, Design Studio, Duflex Foam, Duresta, Edward Clay and Son, Enkev, Ercol, Furniture Village, Gascoigne Designs, Häfele, Harrison Spinks, Headlam, Homestore Interiors, Hunter Knight Upholstery, Hunters Contracts, Iain James Furniture, John Sankey, KI, Layezee, Litmus Furniture, Long Eaton Craft & Design, Lounge Co, Media 10, Morgan, Ocee Design, Panaz, Parker Knoll, Peter Dudgeon Ltd, Pocket Spring Bed Company, Relyon, Rest Assured, Sealy, Shire Beds, Silentnight, Studio by Silentnight, Steed Upholstery, Tempur, Tetrad, The Furniture Ombudsman, Vitafoam, Webs Training, Westbridge, Whitemeadow and William Hands.
What will I receive as a One Step Champion?
Regular information on the grants for which staff may be eligble, posters and support cards to promote our message, a certificate of participation and one to one advice from our welfare officer, Sue Dean. Not forgetting our regular Charity Update detailing news of those we have helped.
Why should we become involved?
In the fastmoving world in which we live, for most, it is rich with privilege. It’s simply about caring about those who are not so lucky.
A helping hand can make a difference when life gets a bit of a struggle and that’s all we want to remind folks about.Reminding your employees that we are here to support them is not difficult.
Who are we helping?
We are helping people from the industry when they need it most! Take Luke, for example. When his partner was placed into critical care after giving birth to their daughter, Luke had to take a sudden leave of absence from work to care for their new-born, while his partner fought for her life.
He was advised to apply for universal credit, but it was taking weeks for his benefits to be sorted out. Luke had no access to his partner’s bank, and she was unable to contribute to the household finances until she was out of hospital.
Luke contacted us to ask for help to pay his rent, which was due in a couple of weeks. We agreed to pay Luke’s rent for three months to give time for housing benefit to be awarded.
Luke was very relieved to be able to concentrate on looking after his baby and helping her to spend time with her mother, while she recovered enough to return home.
It was so simple and easy for us to help Luke. Imagine the situation he’d be in if his manager hadn’t heard of us…