THE Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity revealed a 95% increase in charitable donations last year to £2,511,214.
The figure was revealed in the charity’s 2021 impact report, which also highlighted a 23% increase in the number of construction workers seeking help.
The charity added that it had also increased its social value contribution from £7.42 to £7.82 for every pound spent.
As 2021 begins with another partial lockdown and “skyrocketing” material costs, The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity said it was no surprise to see the number of people in need of help increase significantly. 47% of calls were for immediate financial support.
1,787 cases required the “intensive” intervention of a social worker, an increase of 10% compared to the previous year. Social workers review complex cases and bring together multiple support providers to ensure the “best and most sustainable” support. This service often includes financial help with day-to-day living costs, including energy bills, rent arrears and food, as well as access to telephone counseling to support mental well-being.
In 2021, social workers secured £1.43million from third parties. This included accessing benefits, providing appliances and securing matching funding to pay for home adaptations for people disabled by injury or illness.
31% of workers who contacted the helpline mentioned a mental health problem.
233 people were referred for additional specialist support to help with a variety of emotional well-being issues, including bereavement, relationship counselling, anger management and physical abuse.
Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, said: “Our numbers show that over 90% of our calls for help come from trades and ‘on the ground’ labour. We’re glad to see they’re asking for help, but it also means we need to work even harder to make sure we’re giving them our proactive support at an early stage so the problems don’t escalate and spiral out of control. .
“We’re already tackling this issue with our ‘Help Inside the Hard Hat On Site’ campaign and our team visits builder sites and dealerships across the country to make sure we’re getting the message out locally. Our ‘on-site’ team all work in the trades, are mental health first aiders and have lived experiences that they are able to share in a relaxed and informal way.
“The feedback from these visits has been overwhelmingly positive and we know firsthand that we have helped save the lives of some of the people we met there.”
Sarah Bolton, Director of Charitable Services, added: “In an industry where two construction workers kill themselves every day, it is essential that hard to reach groups know about the support we can provide. We work tirelessly to ensure that we maximize access points to our charitable services and increase our partnerships with other providers to give our staff the specialist support they need.
“Our ultimate goal is to fulfill our mission to ensure that no construction worker or their family feels alone in a crisis.”
If you or someone you know is having difficulty, you can request free, confidential support via:
24/7 helplines for the construction industry; 0345 605 1956, (UK) 1800 939 122 (ROI)
Text HARDHAT to 85258 (UK) 50808 (ROI)
Via the website