The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity has published its 2021 impact report, detailing who it has helped and how it supports the construction community. The report highlights a 95% increase in charitable giving to £2,511,214 and an increase of 23% in the number of the construction workforce seeking support. The charity also increased its contribution to social value from £7.42 to £7.82 for every £1 of charitable spend.
2021 continued to be a tough year for many in the industry, starting with another partial lockdown and soaring material costs, so it was of little surprise to see that the numbers of people needing support increased significantly, with 47% of calls for immediate financial support.
1787 cases needed intensive caseworker intervention, an increase of 10% on the previous year. The caseworkers holistically review all complex cases and use their expertise to pull together multiple support providers to ensure the best and most sustainable support for the beneficiary. This service often includes immediate financial assistance to meet the costs of daily living, including energy bills, rent arrears and ensuring food was on the table for families – as well as access to telephone counselling to support mental wellbeing.
During 2021 the caseworkers leveraged a staggering £1.43 million from third parties. This support included accessing benefit entitlements, supplying white goods and acquiring match funding to pay for home adaptations for those incapacitated by injury or illness.
31% of workers contacting the helpline mentioned a mental health problem and in a year that saw many people struggling to reach support services via their doctor, the charity was able to provide fast access to professional telephone counselling. 233 people were referred for further specialist support to help with a variety of emotional wellbeing issues including bereavement, relationship counselling, anger management and physical abuse.
Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity says, “Our figures show that over 90% of our calls for help come from the trades and the ‘boots on the ground’ workforce. We are pleased to see that they are reaching out for support, but it also means that we have to work even harder to ensure that we are getting our proactive support to them at an early stage so that problems do not escalate out of control. We’re already addressing this with our ‘Help Inside the Hard Hat On Site’ campaign and our team is visiting sites and builders’ merchants across the country to ensure that we get the message in at grass roots level. 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 tours has been tremendously positive and we know first-hand that we have helped save the lives of some of those we have met on site.”
Sarah Bolton, Director of Charitable Services says, “In an industry where two construction workers are taking their own life every day, it is vital that the hard-to-reach groups know about the support we can give them. We are working tirelessly to ensure that we maximise the access points to our charitable services and increase our partnerships with other providers to give our workforce the specialist support they need. Our ultimate aim is to fulfil our mission of ensuring that no construction worker or their family feels alone in a crisis.”