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‘Get chatting’ will be the theme for a series of events being held by Manchester main contractor Russell WBHO for Mental Health Awareness Week, May 9-15, alongside a fundraiser for The Lighthouse Club construction workers’ charity.

The company’s Mental Health First Aiders are inviting colleagues, sub-contractors and visitors to come together informally throughout out the week and talk about ‘anything but work’.

Tuesday will see dedicated Time to Talk coffee mornings held at head office in Trafford Park and on site at the Municipal Buildings project in Liverpool, followed by Breakfast Clubs held in the café at head office on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

The aim will be for people to set aside work conversations for a few minutes to chat about themselves, their hobbies, holidays, kids, future plans etc, strengthening social relationships and providing some valuable down time. It is hoped all staff will attend at least one event and donations will be collected for The Lighthouse Club.

Olivia Lea, HR manager and a Mental Health First Aider said: “Everyone works extremely hard but sometimes it’s good to relieve that pressure for a while and talk about something different. It’s also important to create strong relationships and friendships at work, after all we spend a lot of our time together and can be an important source of support.

“These informal sessions can help relieve stress by getting people to think about and talk about the things that make them happy outside of work, to share positive and uplifting stories with their co-workers and really get to know each other on a more social level.”

Two fundraisers will complete the team’s activities, a Cake Sale throughout the week at head office and Municipal, with staff asked to bake or buy tasty treats for sale, and Dress Down Friday to finish, when everyone who takes part will donate £2 to The Lighthouse Club.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up with all money raised going to support ongoing costs of the charity’s 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline, its mental health resources and the practical and financial help it gives to construction workers and their families.

Darren Williams, Russell WBHO mental health lead and Health, Safety and Wellbeing manager, added: “Mental Health Awareness Week is a great opportunity for everyone to take a moment to learn more about the issues people are facing and become familiar with the support that exists to help them, such as the resources from The Lighthouse Club.

“Our mental health First Aiders were trained by the charity, we utilise their resources and we signpost people to them for help, so we feel it is important to give back what we can by raising money to support their work.

“This week is also a good time to look at our own health and well-being and show solidarity for the cause. We try to provide safe spaces for people to talk about mental health, and opportunities for them to ask for help, and crucially we want to show anyone involved with our business that we are a company which cares and takes these issues seriously.”

For more information about Mental Health Awareness Week check out the Mental Health Foundation and The Lighthouse Club Charity.


Russell WBHO Mental Health Awareness Week May 9th -15th

  • Monday May 9th – Launch of week-long Bake Sale at head office and Municipal Buildings
  • Tuesday May 10th – Time to Talk Coffee Morning 10am – 11am at head office and Municipal Buildings
  • Wednesday May 11th – Breakfast Club at Head Office, pastries and fruit available in the café
  • Thursday May 12th – Breakfast Club at Head Office, pastries and fruit available in the café
  • Friday May 13th – Dress Down Friday at head office and all sites, please donate £2 and
    Breakfast Club at Head Office, pastries and fruit available in the café

Construction Industry 24/7 Helpline 1800 939 122