Companies including BAM Nuttall, Barhale, Dyer & Butler, Galliford Try, HS2 Ltd, Jones Bros, Skanska Infrastructure and Story Contracting will join forces with Cancer Research UK for this year’s Stop. Make a Change event which will run from 10 October until 23 October.
Stop. Make a Change is the largest health & safety stand down in UK construction. In the last four years hundreds of thousands of workers have taken part in initiatives to boost health & safety performance on sites.
This year Stop. Make a Change will respond to the impact of Covid-19 with companies starting conversations with their workforce about how they have been affected. There will be a particular focus on cancer, and mental wellbeing. Industry leaders have identified these as significant challenges for the sector's workforce which have been worsened by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Cancer Research UK and Mates in Mind have both signed up as partners this year. It is the first year that Cancer Research UK have taken this role, reflecting the real risk that occupational cancers may have gone undiagnosed during the lockdown as workers avoided seeking medical attention to avoid using healthcare facilities. The standdowns will act as a reminder to workers of the importance of acting on any concerns or symptoms leading to diagnosis that might otherwise have been missed.
The pressures of home working and uncertain employment prospects also risk damaging the health of workers with a particular impact on mental wellbeing. As such the second priority of mental wellbeing will allow employees to use Stop Make a Change to discuss how to support workers who are facing difficulties and improve the general wellbeing of the sector workforce.
Commenting, CECA Chief Executive Alasdair Reisner said: “Last year, more than 200,000 people took part in Stop. Make a Change, and given the nation’s experience of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has never been a better time to re-engage with our personal health, safety, and wellbeing.
“CECA is proud to support this important initiative, which will drive positive change, encourage conversation, and enable industry to work together to make sure we address the key health, safety and wellbeing risks our industry faces.”
Coral Jones, Head of New Partnerships at Cancer Research UK, commented: “Cancer Research UK is delighted to be involved in this year’s Stop. Make a Change campaign.
“In the UK, 4 in 10 cancers could be prevented largely by stopping smoking, drinking less alcohol, being safe in the sun, and keeping a healthy weight. In the construction industry smoking rates, alcohol consumption, and sun exposure are higher than average, which could be putting workers at a higher risk of cancer.
“Through this campaign we are hoping to raise awareness of preventable cancer risk factors and help workers stack the odds in their favour. We are excited to work together with the construction industry to help beat cancer.”
James Rudoni, Managing Director of Mates in Mind, said: “We are proud to once again be a part of the Stop. Make a Change campaign, bringing organisations together in a commitment for positive, long lasting change.
“This year especially, the importance of positive mental health cannot be underestimated. As the entire globe battles with an issue of immense scale and unprecedented human impact, the after effects of COVID on the mental health of individuals is yet to be seen.
If companies would like to highlight what they are doing during SMAC-20, they are invited use the social media hashtag #StopMakeAChange.
To find out more on SMAC-20, please visit https://www.stopmakeachange.co.uk/ and to register your interest please e-mail SMACfirstname.lastname@example.org.
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Notes to Editors
1. The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) represents over 300 contractors of all sizes, covering approximately 80% of the civil engineering market in Great Britain. Our members build infrastructure that provides the basis for economic sustainability and quality of life in communities across the country.
2. About Cancer Research UK:
• Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
• Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
• Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years.
• Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that by 2034, 3 in 4 people will survive their cancer for at least 10 years.
• Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
• Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK’s vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org.
3. Mates in Mind is a registered charity that works in partnership with the construction industry and leading mental health organisations. It aims to:
• Raise awareness and understanding of mental health and mental ill-health.
• Help people to understand how, when and where to get support.
• Break the silence and stigma through promoting cultures of positive wellbeing throughout the industry.
Mates in Mind recognises that every organisation has its own culture and way of working, so aims to support employers in creating their own approach through support, education, training, awareness-raising materials and a programme of research. For more information click here.