By Paul Gerrard, Public Affairs and Campaigns Director  

If you’ve been following our Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaign, you’ll remember this time last year we asked you to take part in our letter writing campaign to get a response to our Home Office Call for evidence.  

Over 5,000 of you amazing colleagues wrote to your local MP to get them to support us getting a response. The purpose of the call for evidence was to help the Government understand the problem of violence and abuse toward shop staff in England and Wales.  

Since getting the response, we’ve been leading and taking part in different working groups including one on communications.  

Today, as part of this work, we’re supporting the launch of a national #ShopKind campaign in partnership with the Home Office and independent charity Crimestoppers.  

#ShopKind 

The #ShopKind campaign urges the public to be mindful of shopworkers’ essential role in supporting people during these difficult times and emphasises that we should all treat workers and other customers with respect, kindness and gratitude.

Over 100 retailers, local authorities and police representatives are supporting the campaign and it will be visible across high streets and social media from today.  

Here’s our colleagues David BrooksMaruf Chowdry and Claire Saunders speaking about their experiences. These three colleague stories will be featuring in the campaign. You can head over to our social hub to share the campaign from your own social media too.  

Safer colleagues, Safer Communities  

Our campaign for greater protection for shopworkers continues.  

Last week I gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee, a group of cross-party MPs who’s job it is to scrutinise the work of the Home Office. You can watch it back here.  

I was pleased to see the MPs on the panel taking the issue of shopworker violence so seriously. I spoke on behalf of our Co-op colleagues about the horrific verbal and physical abuse some of our colleagues have experienced, what we’ve been doing to keep colleagues safe and what the Government can do more of to support us.  

We continue to do what we can to put our case forward for new legislation to be put in place to give shopworkers additional protection. We’ll be back here soon to ask for your support in making this happen!