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Focus on colleague wellbeing raises vital funds for Samaritans

Posted on: 04/04/2019

Colleagues from across Wales & West Utilities took their commitment to wellbeing one step further after events on Time to Talk Day 2019 helped raise over £650 for charity.

The company, which operates the gas network across Wales and the south west of England, ran events across its offices and depots to encourage colleagues to talk more openly about mental health.

Led by Occupational Health Manager, Sandra Morse-Weaver, the day also saw colleagues dig deep and donate £384 to Samaritans. The money was match-funded by Wales & West Utilities to the tune of £300, and over £650 was passed onto the charity.

Events included knitting hats for the homeless, mindfulness colouring and bake sales and coffee mornings, designed to encourage colleagues to start up conversations and change how people think and act about mental health issues.

Sandra said:

“We are delighted that colleagues got behind our focus on Time to Talk Day whilst raising a significant amount of money for such a worthwhile charity.

“People are at the heart of everything we do, and the health and wellbeing of our colleagues is of the utmost importance to us. These events were a part of our continued drive to

raise awareness around the importance of mental health and wellbeing at work and looked to help break the culture of silence around mental health.”

Just last year Wales & West Utilities signed up to the Time to Change Wales pledge to end the stigma faced by people with mental health problems, whilst it also saw more than 25 mental health first-aiders and 12 employee wellbeing champions recruited from across the business to help colleagues.

Sandra added:

“With research showing that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any one year, and 4 in 10 people are afraid to disclose mental health problems to their employer, Wales & West Utilities is keen to provide the support to help its 1,450 colleagues.

“Anything we can do as an employer to encourage our colleagues, customers and the community to talk about mental health, is time well spent. Having open discussions can make a big difference to people and the more we talk, the more lives we can change.”

Led by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and organised by Time to Change, Time to Talk Day is a campaign intended to change how people think and act about mental health problems.

Samaritans is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, often through their telephone helpline.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, takes pride in serving Wales and the south west of England. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night. 

The company also has a multi-million pound, 30-year gas pipe investment programme which began in 2002. Old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings are being replaced with new long-lasting plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years, to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future.