This incredible achievement demonstrates our commitment to supporting Samaritans' vital service. Our 2023 donations will enable Samaritans’ volunteers to answer the equivalent of 44,000 calls for help.
Through a combination of employee fundraising efforts, matched funding and corporate donations, the collaboration has already generated a staggering £517,000 for Samaritans since it began in January 2020.
Cala colleagues have taken on a variety of fundraising challenges, events and initiatives throughout this year, including:
- A sponsored "Walk and Talk" event, where 76 walkers from our North of Scotland team covered a total of 26.75km, traversing between each of Cala's developments, raising over £21,875. The initiative aimed to raise awareness of Samaritans' work and break the stigma surrounding mental health conversations.
- Our graduate team organised an innovative fundraiser encouraging colleagues to participate in a "Wear Your Funky Socks to Work Day," promoting open discussions about mental health and raising over £3,500.
- Cala employees ran the London Marathon and London Landmarks Half Marathon, raising £19,873 overall.
- Our Thames business hosted its annual charity Golf Day in May, raising an outstanding £30,000.
- Cala South Home Counties raised £8,000 through a 5-a-side football tournament at Dorking Meadow Football Club in July.
Chris Cox, Construction Manager at Cala Thames, shared his personal motivation for participating in the fundraising efforts, stating: "I ran the London Marathon for Samaritans as I lost a friend who was struggling with their mental health, and I have witnessed the profound impact it had on friends and family.
“Suicide rates are higher in our industry than others, and through these fundraising events, we hope to raise awareness about Samaritans' invaluable support."
The formation of our successful partnership with Samaritans followed the charity’s call for better mental and emotional health support for men aged between 35 – 65. As one of the most high-risk groups for suicide, they remain three times more likely to take their own lives than women (1), and with the risk of suicide significantly higher than the national UK average for males who work in the construction sector (2).
Recognising this pressing issue, our teams have rallied together, showing unwavering support for Samaritans' crucial work in providing a lifeline to anyone facing tough times.
The charity's volunteers handle around 10,000 calls a day, and when people contact Samaritans for emotional support, they often mention several concerns including mental health or illness, family, isolation or loneliness, and relationship problems.
Sonya Trivedy, Executive Director for External Engagement at Samaritans, expressed her appreciation saying: "We have been overwhelmed by the support of Cala employees. This latest employee fundraising landmark truly demonstrates how deeply their colleagues care about the cause and are dedicated to ensuring that Samaritans can continue to be there for anyone who needs someone to listen."
Our aim is to not only support the charity's vital work across the UK, but also strengthen mental health and emotional wellbeing amongst its employees and subcontractor partners:
- Samaritans has provided listening and emotional resilience training to help equip our 1,300 employees with the skills to take care of their own wellbeing, as well as being more aware of their co-workers’ mental wellbeing.
- We started 2023 with a focus on mental health with our construction roadshows led by CEO, Kevin Whitaker, and Cala’s leadership team, delivered across our eight regional businesses to more than 300 of its site and construction teams.
- We continue to rollout of site visits this year with Samaritans delivering talks on developments and at regional construction forums. These sessions aim to encourage site teams and subcontractors to look out for each other, how to recognise signs and symptoms, and provide tips for active listening, as well as highlight the importance of open conversations around mental health.
- Over 100 employees have also undertaken Mental Health First Aider Training as part of the housebuilder’s wider wellbeing strategy.
Kevin Whitaker, CEO, said: “This is a challenging time for many people, and we are proud to support Samaritans and the vital service they provide across the country.
“We are in the fourth year of our partnership, which is a key part of a wider strategy to support employee wellbeing at Cala. Our work with Samaritans is helping us promote positive mental health by encouraging our teams and subcontractor partners to have more open conversations, and equipping them with invaluable tools to support each other.”
In 2022 there wasn’t a single second where Samaritans weren’t on the phone to someone. Across 201 branches in the UK and Ireland, the charity’s 23,000 volunteers respond to a call for help every ten seconds. Find out more about our partnership.