The month of March saw our national participating framework partners focus on Mental Health Awareness within the construction industry for the next of Procure Partnership’s ‘key monthly themes’ CWG outcomes for non-project specific social value.
This month’s theme saw contractors engaging with community charity groups and participating in local events to raise awareness about mental health and signpost ways to seek help and support. According to mental health charity Mind: ‘1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year in the UK, with 1 in 5 people having suicidal thoughts and 1 in 15 attempting suicide.’ Data released by the Samaritans in 2021 found that males aged 50-54 have the highest suicide rate, and suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50. With 87.5% of the workforce within the construction sector being male, the industry has a suicide rate three times higher than the national average.
Mental health and wellbeing are therefore a key topic for the construction industry to address and the important work our framework partners have been doing helps to break down barriers, remove the stigma associated with mental health by openly discussing it and normalising that ‘it is okay not to be okay.’
Northwest (Greater Manchester and Crewe): Galliford Try | ISG | Graham | John Sisk
The Northwest Collaborative Working Group comprising of teams from Galliford Try, ISG, Graham and John Sisk, came together in a collective effort to organise a series of lunchtime sessions to approach mental health awareness in a relaxed environment over a brew and biscuits. Using promotional posters and literature to inform and encourage colleagues to attend, in addition to the Project Manager, Site Manager and site teams spreading the word, the sessions were introduced by the Site Manager and attended by Dan, a representative from charity partner Andy’s Man Club (AMC). A men’s suicide prevention charity, founded in 2016 in Halifax after 23-year-old construction worker Andrew Roberts sadly took his own life.
Dan discussed with site teams at Crewe Fire station, Stockport Exchange, Weir Mill (Stockport) and Discovery Quay (Salford) how Andrew had left behind an 18-month-old daughter, and how his family had no idea at the time that Andrew had been struggling with his mental health. AMC operate a free peer-to-peer support service where men can speak openly about their mental health in a judgement-free space. Attracting over 2,000 attendees nationwide on a weekly basis, the groups draw upon personal experiences to encourage men to open up, have a chat, and support each other.
Commenting on the session one of the attendees said: “In 12 years of working on sites, no one has ever come out and had an actual conversation about this, there are posters and stuff, but this kind of thing really makes it real.” Another attendee who had lost a family member to suicide said, if their loved one had known there was somewhere to go, and not just a phone number to ring, they believe it would have made the difference.
Each contractor made a voluntary financial contribution to the charity, totalling approximately £400, in support of the fantastic on-going work Andy’s Man Club does to prevent the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and help men through the power of conversation.
East and West Midlands: Morgan Sindall | Kier
Contractors Morgan Sindall and Kier have invested in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training at work, with Morgan Sindall Construction having over 175 trained mental health first aiders across the business, including 16 locally in the Midlands and Kier having 675 trained mental health first aiders, including over 50 in the midlands area, with over 25 being trained during the month of March.
Testimonial: “I recently attended a 2-day Mental Health First Aid course. I’d been thinking about attending for a while and I’m so glad I finally did. Naturally this can be a very sensitive subject to address, but the course openly covered the many forms of mental health and broke down any barriers surrounding it. The skills learnt, for recognising the signs of someone struggling with their mental health, are invaluable. I found it such a beneficial course and I would encourage anyone to attend.” Gill Bayliss, Office Manager at Kier Nottingham
Both contractors have volunteering initiatives and awareness activities planned across their construction projects on the theme of ‘anxiety’, for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week taking place from 15th to 21st May 2023. One of which includes the EDGE Charity 5-a-side football tournament in Nottingham on 12th May. David Jones, Commercial Manager at Kier, has worked alongside EDGE consultants, event organisers, and Carl York, CSR Co-ordinator at Kier, to promote the event and assemble the Kier team.
Andrew Clayton, Social Value Manager at Morgan Sindall Construction is organising on behalf of Morgan Sindall and will be playing alongside other volunteers from Morgan Sindall Construction.
Proceeds from the tournament will support Emmanuel House, an independent charity that supports people in the local Nottingham community who are at risk and vulnerable through homelessness, sleeping rough, or in mental health crisis. Morgan Sindall has pledged a £2,000 donation, and both contractors have made a £250 entry donation, with further donations and raffle prizes planned for the day.
Brian Wiley, Project Manager for Morgan Sindall Construction has been organising the sponsorship of the 2023 Nick Mowl Cup taking place on Saturday 6th May 2023, as well as putting together a team to participate in the event. The Nick Mowl Cup is an annual charity football tournament held to raise funds for The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, a Midlands-based mental health charity, in support of their Suicide Prevention Text Line service. This is the fourth consecutive year Morgan Sindall has supported the tournament, and it will be held at the grounds of Nick’s former club Solihull Moors FC. In a career spanning 13 years as a local successful midfielder and formerly a football coach in America and Australia, the Nick Mowl Cup was founded in his memory after his suicide in 2017 aged 41. To date, the event has helped raise over £50,000 for The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, who offer a broad network of mental wellbeing support from coping with suicide bereavement, to counselling and residential care.
Brian will lead the Morgan Sindall Construction team with the assistance of Andrew Clayton, Social Value Manager for Morgan Sindall Construction (Midlands) and other volunteers from across the company and their supply chain partners. Brian has volunteered at the event every year since 2019, working closely with Richard Beale, one of the event organisers and former close friend of Nick Mowl.
Testimonial: “This will be our 5th year of running the tournament. In that time, we’ve raised over £50k for the wonderful charity that is the Kaleidoscope Plus Group to be able to carry on their wonderful work helping those in need. During the years that we’ve run the tournament in honour of our friend Nick Mowl, we have been wonderfully supported by so many people and companies such as Morgan Sindall, Santander and Phoenix Group amongst many others. If you’d like to enter a team, sponsor the event or get involved in any way please don’t hesitate to get in touch for what is always a fantastic day and event.” Richard Beale, Nick Mowl Cup Volunteer and Senior Professional Development Phase Manager at West Bromwich Albion Football Club
London (Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham and Redbridge): Galliford Try | Graham | Jerram Falkus
The London CWG organised volunteers from across Jerram Falkus, Galliford Try and Graham Group to participate in two initiatives supporting the local community. Alison Cormack, Social Value Manager for Jerram Falkus Construction Ltd promoted both events via social media to engage with and gain support from local residents and encourage site staff to volunteer.
The first event, a volunteer-led litter pick arranged by the River Roding Trust (RRT), took place on 27th November 2022, bringing local residents, members from the RRT and volunteers from our framework partners together to clear debris and discarded rubbish from a local river. This collective group activity to restore, preserve and protect the local waterway had a positive impact on the mental health of residents living in the area, and created a sense of achievement and care for the wellbeing of their community and the wider environment.
On 5th March, a temporary piece of community artwork was unveiled to promote and improve mental health outcomes in the borough. The sculpture, curated by Laura I Art Gallery, who also delivered the workshops to assist residents and local community artist Noah’s Ark in creating the structure made from waste plastic bottles gathered from litter picks, is now under auction to raise funds for the future of Laura I. Art Gallery and the essential community art and culture initiatives it carries out.
Alison Cormack, Social Value Manager for Jerram Falkus Construction Ltd, Testimonial: “The artwork was visually impressive and created a positive impact to the local area. As it was colourful and unique, in an easily accessible space, individuals, families, schools, community groups and faith groups engaged and visited the structure and in turn it made magic happen. It lifted the community’s spirits and made visitors happy and smiling – it was used as an impromptu backdrop to a Holi festival, that united different faiths in the community, which in turn created inclusivity and togetherness. It attracted positivity, created a space for thought and reflection and it enabled every person to make their own connection to the art piece in quiet contemplation.”
Social Value Add
A collective £4,621.22 Social Value Add has been generated as a result of March activities that are non-project specific from sub-groups of Contractors across our national framework.