Lighthouse Club charity helpline spending jumps 70%
The cost of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity Club’s free helpline jumped by 70% in 2018, as it spent nearly £1.5m helping construction workers during the year, according to a new report.
The charity’s third annual impact assessment showed that it spent more than £1.2m on its 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline, £228,882 on education and training, and £19,740 on health and safety innovation.
During the year, its helpline dealt with 1,662 cases of which 629 needed emergency financial assistance and another 1,033 received advice on welfare and mental wellbeing.
As in 2017, the top three reported illnesses and causes of death were cancer (56%), mental health (32%) and respiratory issues (4%).
Meanwhile, the Construction Industry Helpline mobile app was launched in December 2018 and has been downloaded over 10,000 times. The app is aimed at people who may not feel ready or comfortable talking about their situation and provides expert advice, self-help tools and easy to use coping strategies.
Last year, the Lighthouse Club also became involved in the Building Mental Health programme, led by volunteer industry experts, who have developed an online portal of resources to support employers in developing a positive mental health culture in their organisation. It includes a five-step plan to better mental health and offers free resources including a tool box talk and information on how to access mental health training.
Mental health first aiders
The charity was chosen to manage a two-year, £1.1m CITB-funded project to train 300 construction focussed mental health first aiders for the industry.
The project is ongoing, but to date, £233,822 has been spent resulting in the training of 144 mental health first aid instructors, who in turn have trained 752 mental health first aiders. The programme also delivered 812 half-day mental health awareness courses to members of the construction industry, and over 300 organisations have signed the charity’s Building Mental Health Charter.
Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity said: “Demand in our charitable services continues to grow, but by delivering pro-active resources and training at the front end we are helping organisations and individuals to prevent situations reaching crisis point. We want to develop more of these resources but can only do so with the industry’s support.
"Fundraising was at an all-time high last year but the significant escalation in families needing our support has put considerable pressure on finances. We need predictable and sustainable income to ensure that we achieve our mission in ensuring that no worker feels alone in a crisis and that is why we launched our Company Supporters initiative. We need organisations to commit to an annual donation so that we can plan ahead and provide even more support to our industry.
For more information about the Company Supporters programme, visit www.Lighthouseclub.org/savealife