Heathrow Helping Inside the Hard Hat

24th November 2021

Heathrow have been a proud supporter of our charity for many years both in terms of fundraising  and helping to ensure that our charitable services are communicated to all of their contractors and supply chain. Sadly due to the pandemic, normal fundraising activities were severely impacted but the team still managed to go ahead with their charity golf day in June. And in the meantime, they have been working hard to ensure that everyone from the boots on the ground workforce through to site managers are aware of all the support and training available through our charity.

As we return to some sense of normality, we caught up with Suzanne Kinley, Heathrow’s Infrastructure Workforce Relations Manager to hear a bit more about the important work they are doing to help spread the message.

“The past 18 months have been extremely tough for the aviation sector and Heathrow was no exception.  It has never been so important to increase awareness of the Lighthouse Club and promote the support services available.  When we began welcoming our construction teams back after temporarily shutting down all non essential works at the beginning of the first lockdown, we thought it was hugely important to promote the Lighthouse Club Charity and remind people of the support available. We did this by issuing all operatives with the charity’s ‘helpline cards’ on return to the airport which means that everyone has access to a huge variety of wellbeing resources 24/7 and in complete confidentiality.

During this difficult period we increased our communications with our supply chain and through these regular communications we have promoted the Lighthouse Club’s charitable services at every opportunity and continue our drive to raise awareness. This is particularly important for those individuals who do not have the benefit of a company employee assistance programme. To support the Charity’s ambition of reaching those on the front line who may need help, we have included information in the new Heathrow induction sessions which will be delivered to both new and existing construction operatives. In addition to this we have also cascaded information on the free Helpline App to our supply chain and encouraged everyone to download this essential wellbeing tool.

We have also actively engaged with the charity’s very powerful ‘Help Inside the Hard Hat’ campaign and information has been cascaded to all our Tier 1 contractors to encourage them to display the posters and to date all of them have actively supported this fantastic campaign which raises awareness of mental health issues in our construction industry.

We are extremely aware of the lasting impact of the pandemic and to increase our ability to support our project teams we have continually worked with the Lighthouse Club to roll out both mental health awareness courses and mental health first aid training – this was offered to all Heathrow Infrastructure colleagues and our full supply chain and we had an incredible response which enables us to continually add resilience to existing support networks.

We have been so impressed with the response to the MHFA training facilitated by the Lighthouse Club.  To have this support at site level is particularly important and so we will continue to encourage and promote this training to our construction teams at Heathrow.  The focus for me is to increase awareness for those on the front line and ensure that there is the support available to anyone who may be struggling.  We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Lighthouse Club and will continue to raise awareness of the incredible support they provide to the construction industry and w can’t wait to get our fundraising efforts up and running again soon”.

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