This year has been hard on people throughout the country, and Futures wanted to make sure that our people were supported – because we know that our customers have a better experience when our people feel looked after, comfortable and less stressed.

In addition to our work supporting customers, our Group Board agreed a one-off discretionary payment for our employees (excluding senior leaders) to recognise the potential impact of the cost of living crisis on our team members.  

As part of their considerations, there was also specific advice available to those employees whose benefits might have been affected by an additional payment, in line with our equity, diversity and inclusion strategy.

In addition to this generous support, our team members had access to our Carefirst Employee Assistance programme, allowing our team members to access support with their mental health and wellbeing 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We also started a page on our team member community platform where colleagues could share their best tips to save a few pennies and make the most of vouchers and offers from popular retailers.

Elsewhere, colleagues from across the organisation also came together to create our first ever Futures Thread Exchange, a clothes-swapping extravaganza across our sites all the way from Ripley down to Northampton! Bringing in items of clothing and footwear in preloved but near-perfect condition, our team members then perused the rails for fresh ‘fits – keeping our fashion choices stylish but sustainable!

Not only did this stop around half a tonne of clothing ending up on a landfill - that's equivalent to three average weight pandas! – we also managed to donate almost 100 kg of clothes to local charities, either to sell or pass on to people in need.

Well done team Futures – now are you keeping that jacket, or…?