Supporting shop staff:
Managing a critical incident in your store

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) works with GroceryAid, the charity supporting wellbeing across the UK grocery sector, to provide support to its members who have gone through a critical incident in the workplace.

If you feel that immediate support would be helpful, you can speak in confidence with a counsellor on the GroceryAid Helpline. They provide a range of services including individual telephone support or, if more appropriate, the option for a trauma support specialist to visit your place of work to help anyone affected.

A critical incident can be any situation in which someone experiences either a threat to their own life or physical safety, or has been affected by the death or injury of another as a result of a traumatic event such as an accident, crime, or suicide. We believe it is incredibly important that those affected are supported in dealing with their consequences.

To request assistance, please call the free and confidential GroceryAid Helpline on 08088 021 122.

To request assistance and to speak to a trauma specialist, please call the GroceryAid helpline on 08088 021 122 and quote you’re a member of the SGF.

Support for Victims

To support staff and colleagues following a critical incident in your workplace, the Scottish Grocers Federation and GroceryAid advise that you:

  • Ensure that everyone is safe. Immediately after the event, you should contact the appropriate emergency services such as 999 if required, as well as your area manager and/or your HR team.
  • Recognise your own feelings. To be able to support your colleagues appropriately, you first need to be aware of your own emotional needs and follow the same guidelines you would advise others to adhere to. It’s really important that you take care of yourself and not just your colleagues.
  • Make sure that everyone affected has support. Reassure colleagues that it’s normal for the police or investigation teams to be present on the premises. They may require an interview with you and some of your colleagues so reassure them that this is nothing to feel anxious about. It’s also crucial to hold a briefing meeting with all of your colleagues before they go home to make sure that everyone has a clear idea of what’s happening as is possible at the time, as well as the chance to speak with each other if they want to.
  • Meet with individual colleagues and ask the following:
    • Have they contacted a family member or close friend to let them know what has happened?
    • Do they have the contact details of all support services available to them?
    • Do they have a safe method of travelling home? If you’re concerned about them driving home on their own, offer to help them find a ride home with another colleague or a taxi?


If you have been involved in a critical incident in your workplace, which may include a robbery with threat to life or violent crime, you can contact the GroceryAid Helpline for:

  • In-the-moment emotional support for management and colleagues.
  • On-site assistance by a specialist trauma practitioner including group or one-to-one sessions incorporating psychological first aid to help everyone affected to:
    • Understand how they are feeling and why
    • Normalise these feelings
    • Understand how they can support themselves and others
    • Identify other stressors that can have an impact on heir wellbeing
    • Understand how they can access individual support (if required).