Keeping mental health at the top of the agenda, Manchester main contractor Russell WBHO has become an official ‘company supporter’ for the construction industry charity The Lighthouse Club.
The partnership will provide a wealth of training and resources to support Russell WBHO staff and sub-contractors, with Lighthouse Club Wellbeing Academy courses covering topics such as Banter v Bullying, Managing Stress, Resolving Conflict and Achieving a Good Work Life Balance.
Meanwhile, the corporate sponsorship and the results of this year’s fundraising efforts, will support the charity’s ongoing awareness campaigns and help to keep the crucial 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline open. Staff from sister company Russell Homes will also take part in the initiative.
Russell WBHO has been supporting the Lighthouse Club since 2019 when the firm launched its first team of Mental Health First Aiders following training from the charity. In 2021, staff from across the business helped to raise more than £3,215 with an ‘Everest’ inspired climb up Oxygen Towers in Manchester (pictured below) while the building was under construction by the team.
Plans are in the pipeline for another major fundraising challenge this year and a series of Talking Shops and Coffee Mornings will be held during Mental Health Awareness Week in May, the proceeds of both will go to The Lighthouse Club.
The company has eight fully-trained Mental Health First Aiders and will be bringing through more to act as ambassadors both on site and at head office in Trafford Park. All staff will undertake a mental health awareness training during their induction, and managers will ensure mental health is embedded into H&S KPIs.
Olivia Lea, HR manager, mental health lead and Mental Health First Aider, said: “The Lighthouse Club has helped us to communicate more effectively around mental health and there is a better understanding of the issues across the company. It’s no longer the taboo subject it once was, it’s something discussed openly and without judgement in a wholly supportive environment.
“The training the charity provides is invaluable. Those who have completed the courses are more confident in speaking out to help someone they know is struggling, and they understand what support can be offered. We know we can’t fix people’s problems, but we can signpost them to get the right help, which is usually via the Lighthouse Club. Importantly it has helped open up conversations among colleagues, which can sometimes be the simple solution to help someone who is feeling sad and alone.”
Along with the 24/7 helpline and resources for employers, the Lighthouse Club provides help directly for people suffering from issues such as stress, work and family pressures, money worries, health problems, and addiction. Practical and financial support is available plus access to medical professionals, finance experts, and specialists dealing with addiction.
Darren Williams, the group’s head of Health and Safety and the mental health lead, said there were many benefits to the partnership: “Investment in The Lighthouse Club goes a long way. Last year, for every pound donated the charity generated more than £7.80 of Social Value. Value, efficiency and proven impact are all key drivers for our business, so it’s fantastic to work with a charity which operates in a similar manner and understands how important it is for that support to be converted into real life benefits.
“So many factors can impact someone’s mental health, often it can be enough just to provide a listening ear or show them where to go for practical help and advice. When problems become more serious, the Mental Health Fist Aiders are the first port of call and we can direct them to more formal support if needed. Having someone on your side, whether it is a colleague, manager or the charity, can be the difference between despair and finding a way through.”
For more information about The Lighthouse Club, the construction industry charity go to www.lighthouseclub.org or for immediate support call the 24/7 helpline on 0345 605 1956.