Construction workers are to benefit after Vistry Group and other housebuilders raised £110,000 for a national family crisis fund following an urgent plea by a charity during the coronavirus lockdown.
Keith Carnegie, executive director at Vistry
Home builders responded quickly to an appeal by the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, doubling the funds already donated to help it reach its £1million target, following unprecedented demand on its services.
Vistry – which includes Bovis Homes and Linden Homes – donated more than £13,000 to the
charity, which has seen its confidential helpline increased by 55 per cent compared with last year.
Many of these cases are from self-employed tradesmen, agency staff or workers on zero-hour contracts who are often only one or two paydays away from financial difficulties.
Work re-started at many Vistry new-build locations across the country on Monday, 27th April, with the housebuilder committed to making the safety of colleagues, customers, contractors and communities an absolute priority.
Keith Carnegie, executive director at Vistry, said: "We felt it unquestionably important to support the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity at a time when finances are difficult for many in the industry and demand for the charity's services are very high.
"The health and wellbeing of our people and those in the industry is our highest priority and robust mental health is key to all else so, as well as backing the charity, Vistry have trained employee mental health first aiders to support anyone in the business who needs it."
Following the government’s lockdown guidance, the Lighthouse charity has been forced to cancel its national and regional fundraising events which has severely reduced its income.
Bill Hill, the charity’s CEO, said: “We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of support our home builders community has given to our national appeal. It is humbling to know that when our construction community needs support, everyone really does pull together to look after their own. This donation will make a huge difference to our construction workers in crisis.
"Our pledge is that not a penny of this fund will be diverted to charity overheads, every penny will be used to support those in need and ensure that no construction worker or their family feels alone in a crisis."
The appeal followed a similar donation last year by home builders of more than £120,000 to the Lighthouse charity as part of a campaign to provide financial and mental wellbeing support for workers in the industry.
Stewart Baseley, Home Builders Federation executive chairman, said: “We are living in
unprecedented times and it has never been more important for the construction industry to pull together. The industry faces a huge mental health challenge, something the current crisis threatens to exacerbate. Housebuilders are committed to supporting the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity so that it can continue to deliver the vital services our workforce needs.”
Vistry aims to train up one staff member on every location and in each office as a mental health first aider. The housebuilding group's regional teams also offer a variety of supporting activities including regular teambuilding exercises, away days and yoga sessions.
Companies and individuals wishing to provide a donation to the Lighthouse charity can access a special donation web page www.lighthouseclub.org/construction-workers-family-crisis-appeal/