Last year, the charity helped more people than ever before with 3,421 families reaching out for support - a 23% increase on the previous year. 76% of requests for support came from tradespeople seeking help for a variety of emotional, physical and financial wellbeing issues.
In total, the charity delivered £3,322,739 of charitable services in 2022. The charity’s caseworkers also leveraged £1.77m of additional funding to support 1,976 complex cases where multiple interventions were required to resolve issues such as homelessness, family breakdowns and domestic abuse.
In response to the issues faced in what can be a challenging environment, the charity invested 22% of its grant expenditure in delivering 1,753 face-to-face and virtual counselling sessions. This service has meant that construction workforces have had fast access to a variety of counselling services to address issues such as bereavement, relationship breakdowns and anger management.
Launched in February 2022, the charity’s ‘Make it Visible on Site’ initiative has seen the team visit 173 sites and engage with almost 9,000 site operatives, often engaging with some of the industry’s most vulnerable workers.
“We know that there is still much work to be done, but we don’t see the increase in calls for help as a negative. Quite the contrary, if people are reaching out for help it means that they are hearing about us and not letting issues reach crisis point,” explains Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity.
“Our Make It Visible On-Site initiative has been one of our most successful campaigns to date and has enabled us to reach out directly to our trades and site operatives. Our team can share their own lived experiences in an informal and approachable way and the fact that we have provided immediate safeguarding and lifesaving interventions to 25 people last year alone is testament to its success.”
Another new initiative introduced by the charity in 2022 was its Critical Response Service which delivers essential support and early intervention during critical incidents. These can include serious or fatal on-site accidents or incidents where someone has attempted to, or already taken their own life on site or elsewhere. In 2022, the Critical Response team attended 28 sites where a critical incident had occurred and supported 1,218 people in coping with the trauma they had experienced.
Sarah Bolton, COO of the charity, added: “We are continually expanding our charitable services to respond to the needs of our industry to ensure that our message of support reaches those who may not know how or where to ask for help.
“Last year we introduced a new text support service alongside our existing 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline and Helpline App. The HARDHAT text service offers immediate support to those who feel more comfortable texting rather than talking on the phone.
“We’ve also increased our network of Lighthouse Beacons that provide a safe, non-judgemental environment where people can share their issues with like-minded people either online or face-to-face.
“All these services are underpinned by our Construction Industry Helpline app and the recently launched, CITB funded, Workforce Welfare and Wellbeing portal www.MakeItVisible.info giving every opportunity for our workforce and their families to gain free access to the support they need.”
Callum Mackintosh, President of the Scottish Plant Owners Association, added: “The work the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity does is incredible and very much needed. The app is a great resource, and the 24/7 helpline has provided vital services to those in urgent need of support.
“I’d encourage you all to download the app and save the phone and text numbers and share them with your colleagues. The more we talk with our colleagues and share information on services like these, the better prepared we are should the need for them arise.”
If you or anyone you know is struggling, reach out for free and confidential support now via the phone and text numbers and links below.
24/7 Construction Industry Helplines: 0345 605 1956, (UK) 1800 939 122 (ROI)
Text HARDHAT to 85258 (UK) 50808 (ROI)
Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity: www.lighthouseclub.org
Construction Industry Helpline: www.constructionindustryhelpline.com
Make it Visible: www.MakeItVisible.info
You can also view the full Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity 2022 Impact Report here.