Cala began a national charitable partnership with Samaritans at the beginning of 2020, with the aim of supporting the charity's vital work across the UK while strengthening mental health and emotional wellbeing amongst employees and subcontractor partners.
Cala has given over £517,000 to Samaritans through corporate donations and the fundraising efforts of our staff, suppliers and subcontractors; the equivalent of the amount it costs to respond to 90,000 calls for help. With our support, their volunteers can continue to be there for anyone who is struggling to cope, day and night.
Samaritans has provided listening and emotional resilience training to help equip Cala’s 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. Cala has started 2023 with a focus on mental health in our construction roadshows led by CEO, Kevin Whitaker, and Cala’s leadership team delivered across our eight regional businesses to more than 300 site and construction teams.
Cala continues to rollout 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 providing tips for active listening, as well as highlighting the importance of open conversations around mental health.
Cala is committed to employee wellbeing, and over 100 employees have also undertaken Mental Health First Aider Training, as part of our wider wellbeing strategy.
Cala employees and subcontractors have taken on a variety of fundraising challenges, events and initiatives throughout the partnership, including golf days, marathons, bake sales and a virtual relay race from Aberdeen to Farnham and back, taking in each of the Cala regional and head offices and reaching a total distance of 1,892km. Cala’s South Home Counties Commercial team raised more than £18,000 last year after trekking for 15 hours from their Godalming development to their Lancing site - covering 42 miles across the region.
Cala sponsored Samaritans new event in 2021, Dawn Walk, which encouraged thousands to walk at the same time as others across the country, in solidarity with those who are struggling to cope. Over 570 people took part, raising over £63,000.
Alongside feats of endurance and other fundraising initiatives, our construction team and subcontractors have helped refurbish Samaritans’ Horsham, Guildford and Aberdeen branches, utilising their skills and expertise for the charity.
Samaritans volunteers help people who are struggling to cope with how they’re feeling or with life’s challenges. People contact Samaritans for a variety 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 – totalling more than five million calls every year.
Cala’s support helps to ensure that Samaritans can continue to be there for anyone who is struggling to cope. The funds we raise enable Samaritans to answer 25,000 more calls and helped the charity launch a new online chat service, making it even easier for those who need support to get in touch with a Samaritan volunteer.
In turn, Samaritans provide listening and emotional resilience training to help equip Cala’s staff and employees of our subcontractor partners, with the skills to take care of their own wellbeing and those of their co-workers.