James Andrews giving a tool box talk

Fiona writes:

VGC had a great week raising awareness of mental health.

We had a series of activities which got head office and site staff involved in our initiatives to inspire people to think and talk about mental health.

John Daly giving mental health tbt
John Daly giving mental health toolbox talk to Siemens operatives on northern hub

To kick things off, we launched our brand-new tool box talk. This talk was delivered across our sites to operatives and will continue to take place regularly. The photo above shows James Andrews, one of our labour managers, delivering a briefing to folk on the smart motorway project on the M4.

Fiona and Kim
Fiona and Kimberley at our coffee and cake fundraising event

In the office, staff got together for a fabulous coffee and cake morning. This event proved to be a huge success and it lasted all day! It was great to see all everyone getting involved, as well as to raise £142 for our charity partner, State of Mind Sport. This phenomenal charity has delivered mental fitness sessions across several of our sites. We’re very proud to be working with them.

Dan Cooke and Bill Hill
Daniel Cooke (R) with Bill Hill, CEO of The Lighthouse Charity (L)

On Wednesday, labour manager Daniel Cooke attended a ‘Changing culture in construction’ event in Bridgwater. The event with clients talked about mental health and the Building Mental Health Charter.

MD Laurence Mckidd
MD Laurence Mckidd tries the stress dots

On Thursday managing director Laurence Mckidd, project directors and the operations team took part in our #AddressYourStress session. I had bought a set of little stress dots which change colour, supposedly to show how stressed or relaxed you are.

Project manager Jarlath O'Hara and Operations Manager Jimmy Calahan
Project manager Jarlath O’Hara and operations manager Jimmy Callaghan

They are a bit of a gimmick, but offer a fun way of opening conversations about how people were feeling, and reinforcing the stress awareness message.

Sukhdeep, Zena and Bob at the Ruislip lido
Sukhdeep, Zena and Bob at Ruislip lido

Finally, to finish off an amazing week, on Friday we supported MHFA England’s #EmpowerHalfHour. The campaign encourages people to get active, and several of us went on a lunchtime walk around Ruislip lido.

Mental health is just as important as physical health.

Remember that it’s OK not to feel OK and to talk about your feelings.

If you or someone you know needs help:

  • Talk to your line manager
  • Contact me

    Fiona Dowling
    Author: Fiona Dowling, wellbeing champion and mental health first-aider
  • Call the confidential free Construction Worker helpline 8am-8pm: 0808 801 0373
  • Call Samaritans (free) on 116 123
  • In an emergency call 999

Visit our mental health and wellbeing page to find out more about mental health and how you can take care of yourself.

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