Band of Builders

Band of Builders is the National Construction Charity providing support to members of the UK construction industry facing life changing or limiting circumstances. We deliver life enhancing projects, as well as financial and emotional support for tradespeople and their families across the UK who are dealing with life’s most challenging circumstances.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

We run a campaign called “The Big Brew” this is an annual campaign to encourage UK construction industry workers and tradespeople to come together over a brew to support one another and remove the taboo around mental health. The initiative is focused on improving awareness of both mental health issues and routes to available support for members of the UK construction industry.

As a result of the Big Brew we have been able to provide a free text helpline and a free counselling service available to the UK construction industry

What are your current priorities?

Big Brew Mission
To improve mental health in the UK construction industry by raising awareness of the issues and improving access to support for all members of the industry and the supply chain.
To raise the profile of construction industry mental health challenges and difficulties across the sector and to ensure inclusion, improve knowledge and to drive positive change.
It’s time to do something different and change the stigma and secrecy around mental health.

Big Brew Vision
Empower the trade and facilitate better peer-to-peer mental health support. We want to make people comfortable discussing issues around mental health, to raise awareness of available support and improve access to services.

What challenges are you currently facing?

•2 UK Construction sector workers die by suicide every day
•UK Construction sector workers are nearly 3 times as likely to die by suicide than their counterparts in other industries
•In the UK alone, 400,000 working days were lost to mental health issues in 2018
•Mental health issues are responsible for approximately a £37 billion cost to the UK construction industry every year.
•90% of construction managers have struggled with their mental health

The UK construction industry is vast and highly fragmented, made up of large corporates, SME’s and a vast number of self employed, sole traders or micro businesses, those deemed most in need of support are the hardest to reach. Our focus is on the small businesses and the self employed who are the least likely to have support networks in place. Our approach is to increase awareness through social media and events held in merchants and trade counters. Our biggest challenge going into 2023 is raising awareness amongst the most difficult to reach areas of the industry.