CALA announces charity partnership with Samaritans

CALA Group has announced the launch of a fundraising partnership with Samaritans, which aims to support the charity’s vital work across the UK, while strengthening employee mental health and wellbeing at CALA. Samaritans is a charity working across the UK and Ireland to help people who are struggling to cope with how they’re feeling or with life’s challenges. People contact Samaritans for lots of reasons including loneliness, bereavement, mental illness or suicidal thoughts. The charity’s 20,000 volunteers spend more than one million hours responding to calls for help every year. Across its 201 branches, they respond to a call for help every six seconds – totaling more than five million calls every year. CALA’s support will help to ensure that Samaritans can continue to be there for anyone who is struggling to cope. With CALA’s backing, Samaritans will be able to answer 25,000 more calls for help. The funds raised will also help the charity launch its online chat service, allowing those in need of support to get in touch directly with one of thousands of volunteers in a way that is most comfortable to them. As well as committing corporate donations to the charity, CALA employees from its head offices and nine local businesses across England and Scotland will fundraise for Samaritans through a variety of individual and team activities – with some already signed up for events such as the London Marathon and Kiltwalk in Scotland. In turn, Samaritans will provide listening and emotional resilience training to help equip CALA’s 1,200 staff – as well as employees of its subcontractors – with the skills to take care of their own wellbeing, as well as being aware of their coworkers’. The partnership launches following Samaritans’ call for better mental and emotional health support for middle-aged men, one of the most high-risk groups for suicide, they remain three times more likely to take their own lives than women . Risk of suicide is significantly higher than the national UK average for men who work in the construction sector . Kevin Whitaker, Chief Executive at CALA Homes, said: “It’s a privilege to play a part in helping Samaritans to reach more people in need. No one knows when they might need Samaritans and our backing will help to make their vital services even more accessible to people across the UK, who are struggling to cope. “Mental health is as important as physical health and for our own staff and subcontractors – who are at the very heart of our business – Samaritans’ emotional resilience training will be invaluable, and this forms part of a wider strategy to support employee wellbeing at CALA. “This partnership is also an opportunity for us to raise awareness of the challenge we face within the construction industry with regards to mental health.” Matthew Lock, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Samaritans, said: “We know workers within the construction industry can be more at risk of suicide. “With CALA’s support, we will be able to help equip staff with techniques, tools and resources that support their emotional wellbeing and create a culture where people feel that they can get support if they need it. “This partnership will also help us continue to be there for anyone who is struggling to cope. Together we will save lives.”

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