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Willmott Dixon people supported by the lighthouse construction industry charity


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Emily's Trainee Challenge: Mental health campaign supports Samaritans

A Willmott Dixon management trainee has been applauded for her leadership of a campaign to tackle mental health in the construction industry.

Concerned by the statistic that two construction workers take their own life every single working day in the UK, Emily Palmer, challenged our people to help make a difference.

Emily reached out to the Samaritans and the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, to see how Willmott Dixon people could improve support to construction workers and their families.

Conversations with the Samaritans resulted in projects across the charity’s Leeds, Rochdale, Stockport, Darlington, and Newcastle branches to create a better environment for their volunteers and, help to save lives.

And Emily’s tireless endeavour resulted in a partnership agreement with the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, with Willmott Dixon formalising support for the charity that helps construction workers and their families.

IMG_0556.jpgEmily’s campaign was part of Willmott Dixon’s Trainee Challenge, where new starters in the business get to project manage worthwhile community projects starting out with just £500 seed money. The projects support the Now or Never strategy, with Emily’s work closely aligned to the aims of the Building Lives theme to make a positive impact for people and communities through our work.

Each Samaritans office had its own trainee project manager to help make improvements with the standout project the refurbishment of a 3-storey building in Leeds.

Frank Jones, Leeds Samaritans Branch Manager, said:

“Leeds Samaritans is one of the largest branches in the country and was last refurbished a quarter of a century ago, so had become very tired.
“Now the 150 National Samaritans Listening Service volunteers based in Leeds can work in a comfortable and calming branch environment that could support an effective flow of activities.
“Emily has been involved in every step of the project since then and the success of the project is due, in no small part, to Emily’s contribution.”

In return, the Samaritans have supported WD as a business, visiting company offices to provide mental health and wellbeing talks.

In addition, Emily’s project also worked with construction colleges across West Yorkshire to create a mental health campaign for young people entering the industry. Seven student representatives from four different colleges got the chance to find out more about Willmott Dixon and helped develop a campaign to support the health and wellbeing of workers in the future.

Emily said: “I am really proud of my Trainee Challenge and the journey I have been on. And this is not the end. Willmott Dixon’s partnership with both Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and Samaritans will live on and we have made a real difference to lives of hundreds of Samaritans volunteers, every single caller that calls when in crisis, and for all our people across the entirety of Willmott Dixon.”

Together with 13 other companies, people from Willmott Dixon competed in the Feel Good Games for the Pagabo Foundation to raise money for mental health support in the construction industry. We came third overall and an incredible £31,000 was raised collectively for organisations working in the construction industry to help support the mental health needs of their workforce.

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