Wates marks Men's Health Week | Wates

Wates is marking Men’s Health Week (15-21st June) with a programme of employee events aimed at encouraging industry workers to talk more and share their health experiences.

The week was kicked off by Mark Tant, Managing Director, Wates Construction who delivered a video address to the firm’s UK wide team on Monday 15 June, encouraging them to communicate and talk, despite the social distancing measures currently in place due to Covid-19.

He addresses the difficult times workers find themselves in at the moment due to pressures balancing work and family life or worries about loved ones and their health, all currently exacerbated during the pandemic.

Mark, along with other members of the senior leadership team at Wates including Paul Chandler, Group Managing Director, Wates Construction, and Paul Dodsworth, Managing Director, Wates Construction North, are encouraging workers to talk by sharing their own personal health experiences. This will be done via a series of public blogs published throughout the week and a company zoom webinar on Friday 19 June.

Men’s Health Week is organised by The Men’s Health Forum, a registered charity whose mission is to improve the health of men and boys in England, Wales and Scotland. In the UK, one man in five dies before the age of 65. Figures from Public Health England in the last five years has shown that men working in the construction industry are at the highest risk of suicide which makes the issue particularly pertinent.

Paul Chandler, Group Managing Director, Wates Construction, will share the very recent experience of his father’s death at St Bart’s Royal London Hospital, just a number of days before the firm took a call asking for their help delivering additional intensive care beds and capacity in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He says:

“This week I’ll be reflecting with colleagues on the challenges of the last few weeks and months both personally and professionally.

“Losing my dad after a fall has turned my family’s life upside down but my hope is that sharing my recent experience may help colleagues and peers across the industry realise that sometimes there are things that are more important than work and it’s ok to talk about them.”

Paul Chandler, Group Managing Director, Wates Construction
Paul Chandler - Group Managing Director, Wates Construction

Paul Dodsworth, Managing Director, Wates Construction North, writes about being diagnosed with testicular cancer aged 42 and how this has spurred his passion for making cultural changes in what is traditionally considered a ‘macho’ industry.

He comments:

“As much as the industry is making great strides in becoming more open and inclusive, many are still reluctant to seek help and support with mental and physical health issues which deeply affect our wellbeing. It is absolutely okay not to be okay. We hope that by shining the spotlight on men’s health, we encourage colleagues to feel comfortable in opening up and talking about their thoughts and experiences.”

Paul Dodsworth men's health week 2020 mental health awareness
Paul Doddsworth, Managing Director, Wates Construction North
“As an industry we don’t have the best track record in supporting health and wellbeing so this week is a perfect opportunity to reflect on this and change for the better.”
Mark Tant
Managing Director, Wates Construction

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