BSS and Mind Partnership
BSS has a long-term commitment to supporting Mind and SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health), the leading mental health charities in the UK. With mental health problems affecting one in four people every year, hundreds of thousands are struggling to cope. Both Mind and SAMH provide much-needed support and advice as well as raising awareness of mental health problems and campaigning for better services.
Throughout 2018, we have been working towards an ambitious target of raising £200,000 for Mind. Our partnership with Mind began in 2015 and previously we have raised between £25,000 and £50,000 each year. To help us achieve the increase in funds raised, we’ve been working hard as a business to engage our colleagues in raising money for Mind and SAMH. This has been across our nationwide branch network and at our head office and distribution centres.
The £200,000 target was posed by our Managing Director, Kieran Griffin. Kieran attended an event (ran by Mind) which highlighted the fact that suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK.* Back in May 2017, Construction News reported that one in four construction workers have considered taking their own life – a high statistic compared with those in corporate roles or working in health or social care.
Reports that cover the poor mental health of workers within the construction industry clearly show the importance and value of raising funds for Mind and SAMH. The support and advice provided can be life saving and raising general awareness of the importance of mental health could benefit not only our colleagues, but also customers, suppliers and a wider public.
To help work towards achieving our target, we formed a charity committee chaired by Kieran. The committee includes representatives from all of the business’s central functions as well as regional representatives from our branch network. It works on all levels within the business (and across all regions) to support and motivate our colleagues in fundraising ideas and initiatives with a strong emphasis on new ideas to raise both money and awareness.
The committee worked closely with Mind to produce a ‘Little Book of Ideas’ – an A-Z of suggestions for branch colleagues to raise money and improve their own mental health – from a ‘Bake Off’ competition to a karaoke night, a Christmas wrapping service to a ‘Jog-athon’.
Making a difference
Our people have done BSS proud by pulling out all of the stops to raise money for charity – whether that’s cycling an epic challenge, skydiving, running a tuck shop or taking on an obstacle challenge course involving 100 tons of mud! The common goal is making a real difference to the lives of people affected by mental health problems.
We have also supported all managers across the business with training from Mind on how to help and support members of their own teams, as well as other colleagues and friends and family. And our internal communications (including our newspaper for colleagues) has featured articles on mental health and wellbeing.
BSS Rally – Car-aoke Challenge
The inaugural BSS Rally takes place in September and involves colleagues, customers and suppliers taking a group of old, cheap cars across Europe to raise funds for Mind. The idea is to head for the shores of Lake Como via France and Switzerland before returning to the UK in just five days (breakdowns permitting of course!).
We have five teams taking part with challenges to complete and points to be won. The champion team will have the honour of being the first ever winner of the BSS Rally! The money raised is through individual team sponsorship (with each car given a specific target), supplier sponsorship packages and of course, some good old bucket shaking.
“As well as support at a senior level driven by Kieran Griffin, we are consistently inspired by the creativity and dedication of BSS colleagues across the business to their fundraising and awareness-raising activities. We are particularly excited for the upcoming BSS rally across Europe, a unique fundraising idea that we hope will also help raise the profile of our brilliant partnership, with people sharing their adventures on social media.
Mind and SAMH believe no-one should have to face a mental health problem alone, and without supporters like BSS and its employees, we would not be able to provide people with the vital information and support that can change their lives for the better. BSS’s support will help us to continue providing much needed services, raise awareness and promote understanding and reduce stigma of mental health issues. We are looking forward to continuing the success of our partnership over the coming months.”
Kathleen Miles, Director of Fundraising, Mind
“To raise nearly £3,000 for Mind has made me so proud. This has definitely been one of the most difficult challenges I’ve done, but at the same time the most rewarding.”
Simon Hudson, BSS Key Account Director, Coast to Coast cycle challenge
A word from the top
2018 has also seen the launch of our Mind truck with its distinctive livery. Following the launch, our MD, Kieran Griffin said, “We have ambitious fundraising plans in 2018 and beyond to support Mind and SAMH, with events and activities planned at all 60+ BSS locations. At BSS, our mission is to become Britain’s most trusted and reliable distributor of pipeline and heating solutions but part of that process is to show that we care about our colleagues and our customers, and our charitable work underscores the company’s caring approach.”
*Office for National Statistics