A leading infrastructure charity provided £1.25m to construction industry workers and their families in 2018, up a ‘staggering’ 75% on the previous year.
The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity said the level of support reflected the human impact of the stress and strains of working in the industry in what was ‘a difficult year’.
The charity provides financial and emotional support to the construction community and their families who have suffered an injury, long-term illness or otherwise need support and provides a 24 /7 helpline.
Last year, 1,662 construction families called the helpline, of whom 662 were seeking emergency financial support, an increase of over 40% on 2018.
The amount of charitable giving provided in 2018 was £1.25m, which the Lighthouse said was a ‘staggering’ increase 75% on the previous year.
Of the 1,662 cases calling the helpline, 1,033 were given advice and support on issues ranging from mental wellbeing issues through to legal, debt management and taxation advice.
The charity said there was also a huge increase for requests of their helpline packs and there are now 350,000 helpline cards in circulation within the construction workforce.
CEO Bill Hill said: ‘The significant escalation in families needing our support has taken us by surprise and has put pressure on our finances. With two construction workers taking their own life every single working day, and stress, depression, and anxiety accounting for a fifth of all work related illness, it’s vital that we continue to provide our helpline services and put additional funding into the construction industry’s dedicated and volunteer led, Building Mental Health programme.
‘But the only way that we can plan ahead is with predictable income. That’s why we launched our Company Supporters initiative and our “Save a Life” campaign. We’re urging companies to pledge a regular annual donation to ensure the long-term sustainability of our valuable charitable services.'
The charity has also recently launched its helpline app, which helps people find out more about how they can help themselves or take the next step in seeking professional help.
It is a preventative tool and provides support at the early stages of a situation so the problem does not reach a life critical stage.
The app provides vital information, advice and guidance on many wellbeing topics including stress, anxiety, depression, anger and suicidal thoughts.
To access the Construction Industry Helpline on 0345 605 1956 or visit www.constructionindustryhelpline.com