The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity continues to be a steadfast beacon of hope for those in need and in 2023, they saw 4438 people reaching out for support through its 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline, a 30% increase on the previous year. Their charitable spend also increased by 12% to £3,727,386. This support has been delivered against the backdrop of a challenging year for the industry, with continued increases in the cost of materials, the cost of living crisis and ongoing labour shortages.
The charity is in the unique position of being able to offer every aspect of emotional, physical, and financial wellbeing support. This means that they deliver a truly holistic approach, responding quickly to the needs of the construction workforce and ensuring they are equipped with the life skills to facilitate a sustainable future.
Charity caseworkers played a key role in this achievement and through collaboration with other charitable organisations and ensuring that people accessed their statutory entitlements, they leveraged a staggering £1,524,508 of financial support.
One of the charity’s most successful front-line interventions has been the hugely popular MakeItVisible on site initiative. In 2023 the team visited 390 worksites and engaged with more than 25,000 site workers. These on-site visits are a crucial component of ensuring the message of support reaches some of our industry’s most vulnerable workers, including the trades and contractors. Last year alone, the on-site team made a life-changing and life-saving impact with 147 workers experiencing suicidal thoughts. Through simple conversations they were able to provide immediate support, implementing positive interventions and signposting to expert help.
Earlier in the year, the charity unveiled the groundbreaking MakeItVisible Wellbeing Portal, www.makeitvisible.info, fostering industry collaboration. This comprehensive resource provides information, advice, and guidance, directing users through authentic video case studies to support pathways for all aspects of emotional, physical and financial wellbeing.
Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Charity, emphasised the positive impact, stating, “We are making a difference in the lives of those who reach out to us. The increase in families helped and charitable spend is encouraging.
I’m also encouraged to see the industry’s commitment to a culture of positive wellbeing and the support of the MakeItVisible campaign is testament to that. By joining forces, the industry is transforming work sites and creating a lasting impact on lives.
As part of our charity’s ongoing efforts to diversify support pathways, we recently introduced a live online chat service offering immediate support from our helpline advisers. As well as providing help without the need for a telephone conversation, the service also offers a real time translation service which extends our support to those who may not have English as their first language.”
The charity’s Wellbeing Champion Support programme offers professional support to over 12.000 mental health first aiders in the industry. This ensures that those who bear the emotional weight of the workforce are supported in managing their own wellbeing as well as enhancing their ability to provide continued support to others.
In 2023 their Critical Response Service provided vital support at 50 locations for those affected by a serious or fatal on-site incident. A specialist team provide immediate support offering a ‘safe space’ for people to share their concerns and signpost to specialist trauma counsellors if necessary.
The charity’s Wellbeing Academy caters for the diverse learning styles and needs within the industry and is aimed at equipping workers with the soft skills they need to navigate today’s challenges. Recent additions have included new self paced elearning courses along with Lighthouse Wellbeing Exclusives, such as their Suicide Awareness courses which were attended by 341 workers last year.
Reflecting a year of resilience, growth, and impactful initiatives, the charity will publish their 2023 Impact Report in May 2024 once the final audited accounts have been approved and filed.
If you or anyone you know is struggling, reach out for free and confidential support now
24/7 Construction Industry Helplines; 0345 605 1956, (UK) 1800 939 122 (ROI)
Text HARDHAT to 85258 (UK) 50808 (ROI)