NEWS

Latest News
& Updates

HICS Nominated as finalist in the prestigious BIBA Awards for the second consecutive year

The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Scheme (HICS), via QA Scheme Support Services, is thrilled to announce their nomination as a finalist in the esteemed Leadership Team of the Year category at the Be Inspired Business Awards (BIBAs), Lancashire’s premier business awards. This is the second year running that the organisation has made it to the finals, last time in the Employer of the Year category.

Leadership Team of the Year

Faisal Hussain, Chief Executive of HICS, expressed his delight at the nomination,

“We are honoured to be recognised by the BIBAs, once again. This nomination reflects our commitment to excellence and the dedication of our senior leadership team and people-centric strategy. It highlights our focus on fostering a positive work culture and enhancing operational efficiencies.

“Central to our approach is a strong emphasis on respect, integrity, teamwork, and communication at all levels of the organisation. Our success is built on the principle that a motivated workforce leads to superior service delivery, increased productivity, and ultimately, greater customer satisfaction. This all starts with the leadership team who have cemented this approach through targeted training and quarterly offsite senior management sessions.

“At HICS, it’s not just about business; we prioritise our staff’s wellbeing. We’ve implemented Mental Health Awareness Days and appointed three trained Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) to support our team. Additionally, we’ve enhanced employee engagement through personalised tokens of appreciation and team-building activities, which have significantly boosted motivation and reduced staff turnover.

“Customer satisfaction will continue to remain at our forefront, with high standards of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in place to ensure effective service delivery. Our KPIs include maintaining an average wait time of less than 20 seconds for answering calls and responding to emails within two working days. These standards are upheld through rigorous quality control measures. For me, it’s all about being transparent and accountable.

“Being a BIBA awards finalist is a massive honour, but it’s about recognising the effort our collective teams put in every single day. Winning would be the real validation of our commitment to making HICS a place where excellence thrives.”

HICS Celebrate 5 Years with George Clarke

February 2024 marks the five year anniversary with George Clarke as Brand Ambassador for The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Scheme (HICS).

HICS and George both share a commitment to upholding the highest standards in the home improvement industry.

Reflecting on the milestone, George Clarke, HICS Brand Ambassador, comments,

“Celebrating five years with HICS has been nothing short of fantastic. I am proud to support them in their mission to protect consumers.

“Looking back on my incredible journey with HICS fills me with immense gratitude and pride. Being Brand Ambassador has been an honour and witnessing the dedication and team spirit of the staff at HICS and their members has been truly inspiring. Together, we’ve achieved remarkable milestones, and I look forward to continuing this journey of excellence with them.”

Faisal Hussain, HICS Chief Executive, comments,

“As we mark the five year milestone alongside our Brand Ambassador, George Clarke, I am reminded of the core values that have guided us on this incredible journey

“At HICS, consumer protection and installer support are not just a goal; it’s a commitment that lies at the heart of everything we do. Collaborating with George and our dedicated team at HICS, we’ve embraced the power of unity, ensuring that interactions with HICS leave a lasting impression of satisfaction and trust.

“Our partnership with George has been fantastic and together we’ve listened, learned, and evolved, always with the shared goal of raising standards, protecting consumers, and empowering our HICS members to thrive. Here’s to many more years of success and continued dedication to consumer protection with George by our side.”

Take a listen: Mental Health & Wellbeing Podcast series from HICS & NHIC

The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Scheme (HICS) recently teamed up with the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC) along with medical experts, frontline charity workers and HICS representatives to share first hand insight and knowledge about the industry’s current mental health and wellbeing challenges.

Faisal Hussain, HICS Chief Executive, comments:

“During this carefully researched and structured series, the six episodes cover the following topics: mental health support in the sector and its effects on productivity; what does a good work life balance look like; managing loneliness working away from home; the importance of a holistic approach to supporting your team; and Mental Health Support in the Home Improvement and Renewables sectors and for trades people. The last podcast, which is relevant to today’s current economic challenges, tackles finances: Accessing debt support for better financial health. It’s been really interesting to see the engagement levels so far there have been hundreds of downloads.

“I’ve personally been encouraged to see how much mental health and wellbeing have become more comfortable topics of conversation in our sector and are on the agenda now for many businesses.”

Interesting panel of speakers

Running during Autumn to coincide with Suicide Prevention Month in September and depression and mental health awareness month in October, we had a great panel of speakers who shared their personal experiences. These included Hannah Vickers, Chief of Staff at Mace and Head of Productivity at the Construction Leadership Council’ Martin Lockham from Mates in Mind, George Jones from Cahill Renewables, Tony Steel from Band of Builders, GP Dr Rachel Cooper MBBS MRCGP, and Greg Jenkinson from Step Change.

Variety of places to download each series

There are a variety of places where you can easily reach the podcast series, either directly from the PodBean platform, or from mainstream brands such as Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts or YouTube. The number of listens of each podcast is increasing, and it’s clear that there is value in these sensitive topics being discussed in such a transparent and heartfelt manner.

Faisal concludes:

“It’s great to have such a positive response to the podcasts and know that they are having the positive impact we hoped for. This was confirmed by one listener emailing us to say that he realised he was experiencing burn out after listening to the podcast. He didn’t understand what he was feeling beforehand, but the podcast gave him some clarity and helped him move forward. If we help just one person with these podcasts, we’re happy, but we’d dearly like to see others in the industry gain benefit from the shared insights given on the podcast.”

If you are reading this and struggling now, regardless of whether you’re a HICS member or not, we urge you to reach out for confidential 24/7 support by texting HARDHAT on 85258.

Episode Six of the HICS and National Home Improvement Council new mental health and wellbeing podcast series now available

Accessing debt support and achieving financial health

In the final instalment of our mental health podcast series, we talk to Greg Jenkinson, Debt Advisor from StepChange, one of the best UK impartial and free Debt advisory services and Michael McGougan, HICS Head of Membership. This podcast discusses ways in which to take control of your financial position, minimise your financial stress and understand what support is available. We also discuss the options around debt solutions and how HICS support their members’ financial health.

What is financial health?

We all need to be able to maintain our day-to-day budgets. Good financial health is being able to pay bills on time and have some left for personal use. Poor financial health is where you become reliant upon credit, not able to pay those important bills and find that you are juggling too much. Contributing factors will have a knock on effect with your financial health. You could unexpectedly be out of work for reasons outside your control or have a physical injury and those days/weeks off could have a huge effect on cash flow.

Recognising your situation and taking control 

There is a misconception about debt that if you have it, you have failed. This is simply not true. It is so easy to take the approach of “I will deal with that another day”. The further down the line we push it, the further the worry increases.  A poor financial situation is not a reflection on the person themselves. Two thirds of people who find themselves in a poor situation have actually not been foolish with money. There is no shame in asking for help and once you start to address the issue, of which is daunting to many, the easier the steps become moving forward. One step could be as small as checking your bank statement each week and seeing where you could be more comfortable in making some little changes.

What support is out there?

StepChange offers free impartial debt advice on a personal and business level. They will listen and understand and will be able to advise on the best course of action dependant on your financial health. They are experts with many years of experience and will assist with arranging payment plans for loans and credit cards, or breathing space with organisations.

If you are a member of HICS, you have many avenues to take to get the help and support you need. They have dedicated account managers who will be able to offer you advice and guidance on which ever avenue that best suits your situation: help with policies and procedures, getting a good accountant, or exploring avenues like income protection. They can even offer you guidance on how to do a simple excel spreadsheet to help you take control.

Take the free help. You will wish you had done it sooner!

StepChange has a free, confidential online helpline that is available 24hours a day 365 days a year  https://www.stepchange.org/

You can also speak to one of their advisors on 02800 138 1111 Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 2pm

The HICS/NHIC mental health podcasts are running into October and are available here:

https://nhic.podbean.com/e/mental-health-support-in-the-home-improvement-renewables-sectors-and-for-tradespeople/

Episode Five of the HICS and National Home Improvement Council new mental health and wellbeing podcast series now available

Improving Wellbeing and Mental Health

This episode of our mental health podcast series is one that is particularly relevant to all of us, regardless of where we work or what we do. Dr Rachael Cooper and Cathy O’Hara have many years of experience in working with people with mental health issues, and they bring their vast knowledge to this broadcast.

Dr Cooper has been a GP in Newcastle for 22 years and a significant amount of her work involves dealing with patients with mental health challenges. Cathy started her career in HR for a construction firm and has worked for HICS for many years.

Identifying mental health problems

When patients approach Dr Cooper with mental health issues, they often use the word ‘stress’, where in reality what people are suffering from is anxiety or depression. Symptoms may include mild worrying to full-blown panic attacks, catastrophising that something bad will happen, an inability to get out of bed, lack of motivation, drinking too much and/or taking drugs, feeling restless and unsatisfied, and not sleeping properly. Dr Cooper also speaks about a little-known condition called anhedonia, which is the inability to enjoy yourself or find pleasure in anything. This is a recognised symptom of mental health conditions like depression and can manifest in feeling numb, flat, and not being interested in anything. All these symptoms indicate that help is needed, and it is important to acknowledge that suffering is not a weakness, but a form of illness that needs to be treated.

Building resilience and self-care

Resilience is the ability to cope with situations and challenges, and the better our physical and mental fitness, the better our resilience and the more we get out of life.

Looking after physical health is as important as taking care of our mental health and the connection between mind and body should not be underestimated. Exercise and being outdoors are both shown to have a positive impact on mood. Eating the right food, having hobbies, surrounding ourselves with positive people and finding support systems all go hand in hand in helping to boost our mental health. Developing a growth mindset and continuing to learn and develop are all positive habits to embrace.

To help with self-care, social media breaks, practising gratitude, listening to inspirational podcasts, and using Apps are all tools that provide support. We are more likely now to be working in isolation so finding time to socialise with positive friends is important. Equally, bad habits need to broken: drinking, drugs and bad eating habits and behaviours all contribute to a negative state of mind.

Organisations that can help

Cathy and Dr Cooper highlight three organisations which have expertise in the area of mental health treatment, whether that is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and talking therapies for anxiety or counselling. A GP can also provide access to services and may prescribe medication in more serious cases.

Lighthouse provides support exclusively for workers in the construction industry. Mates in Mind is a charity which raises awareness and aims to destigmatise the conversation around mental health, and Band of Builders specifically helps tradespeople in need. often it is men who find it most difficult to talk if they are struggling with their mental health. As the construction industry is a predominantly male industry, this is a vital organisation.

Mates in Mind has a free, confidential 24/7 hotline called Be A Mate, which is available to anyone in our industry. Just text HARDHAT free on 85258 and a trained volunteer will be available to help, whatever the issue. This is not just open to HICS members, but to anyone in the industry who feels they would benefit from expert, confidential support.

This podcast emphasises the fact that there is no reason to suffer in silence and that help is available. If you need support, it is not sign of weakness and you are not alone.

The HICS/NHIC mental health podcasts are running into October and are available here:

https://nhic.podbean.com/e/mental-health-support-in-the-home-improvement-renewables-sectors-and-for-tradespeople/

Episode Four of the HICS and National Home Improvement Council new mental health and wellbeing podcast series now available

Taking a holistic approach to supporting your team

In the latest instalment of our mental health podcast series, we talk to Martin Lockham, Head of Fundraising and Growth at Mates in Mind, one of the UK’s leading charities supporting mental health awareness within the workplace, and Louise Auld, HICS Executive Assistant.. This podcast discusses ways in which companies can support their staff who may be suffering with mental health issues, and how important it is that there are cultural changes which enable us to destigmatise the issue to support open communication.

Including soft skills in management training

The key to being able to recognise when a team member is struggling and being able to act on it is something we can all take responsibility for but the communication about mental health within organisations starts from the top. Culturally, we need to break down the stigma of mental health and accept it as an issue that can and should be openly discussed without embarrassment or fear.

Often it is the case that managers are in post because they are good at their jobs, and they may have received some training to make them more effective in that role. More often, this training will not include how to spot the signs of mental health issues, or how to start conversations, how to listen and what employee assistance programmes can be put in place.

Martin and Louise both advocate taking a holistic approach to the wellbeing of employees, treating them as individuals and being able to create an environment where mental health does not just fall under the HR remit.

Look after each other

Key to having a healthy approach to mental health lies within all of us. Martin suggests that all of us should be able to recognise the signs of stress and anxiety in ourselves to be able to act, but also to be able to look after each other. Team members often know their colleagues well and can know if someone is not quite themselves. Having implicit permission to ask simply, ‘Are you OK?’ of each other and having the space to have that conversation is as important as having access to support systems and more formal help. Looking after each other and being aware when someone is potentially struggling can often be the start of a conversation which leads to a turning point in accessing help and being understood.

Employee support systems

Both Martin and Louise have experience of what support systems employers can put in place that staff can access. After all, a healthy workforce equals less absenteeism, fewer mistakes and greater productivity, so both employee and employer benefit. As well as being able to listen and encouraging peer to peer support, companies should be looking at employee assistance programmes, access to 24 hour helplines, putting contact information in buildings and even pay slips, text services and medical schemes.

Mates in Mind has a free, confidential 24/7 hotline called Be A Mate, which is available to anyone in our industry. Just text HARDHAT free on 85258 and a trained volunteer will be available to help, whatever the issue. This is not just open to HICS members, but to anyone in the industry who feels they would benefit from expert, confidential support.

The HICS/NHIC mental health podcasts are running into October and are available here:

https://nhic.podbean.com/e/mental-health-support-in-the-home-improvement-renewables-sectors-and-for-tradespeople/

Episode Three of the HICS and National Home Improvement Council new mental health and wellbeing podcast series now available

Managing Loneliness and Working Away From Home

In this third episode, we welcome Tony Steel, Operations Director at Band of Builders and Jonathon Moorhouse, Head of Business from HICS. The podcast explores loneliness, how much of a problem it is; strategies to manage loneliness and working away from home; the downside of using drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms, and signposting to hubs that are there to help.

What is loneliness?

Jonathon kicks off the podcast by posing the question: what is loneliness? He comments that it’s a misconception that loneliness is only something that you feel when you are on your own. You can be with people or a group and still feel lonely. Sometimes work contracts can last weeks away at a time and of course, we all miss our families when we’re away from them.

Tony adds that no matter how well you off you are in terms of friends and family, there are always going to be situations where you are actually going to go through loneliness and really feel it.

Tony adds that there are always going to be situations where you feel lonely, regardless of how much you are surrounded by friends and family. When you recognise this, it can become clearer to accept that there are strategies that you can put in place, even when you’re working away from home. Sometimes just even having the awareness that you’re getting sucked into unhealthy lifestyles – a couple of drinks at the bar every evening – can help prevent really bad habits developing that are detrimental to mental health. The topic of drugs and alcohol is probably one of the most difficult to get people to admit to. Avoidance and shying away usually means the loneliness, often mixed with feelings of guilt, builds to become overwhelming.

This is backed up by stark statistics: in 2021, 507 constructions workers took their own lives, the equivalent to two workers every day*.

Help is at hand

The podcast also explores good ways of coping with loneliness. If you are working away for particularly longer periods of time there are options out there like local clubs, or some sort of sport. In many instances, physical exercise has an immediate and really positive effect on your mental health. Thirty minutes of sport a week is the same dopamine release as small levels of anti-depressants. Pack your trainers, have a walk, run, play golf, explore new surroundings, run or use a hotel gym where possible. Fresh air is magical.

Seek support from dedicated groups like Band of Builders and others listed in the show notes. Jonathon shared that he personally reached out to Andy’s Man Club when his brother took his own life and commented: One of Andy Man’s Club advisors got me through one of the toughest times of my life.

Whether it’s through organisations, charities, friends or colleagues, the first step is be open and share your feelings of loneliness. We can all step in too and play our role by getting in touch with people to see how they’re doing. Checking in with your colleagues who are working remotely can really change the course of their day.

Maybe ask yourself, who should you be checking in with?

Equally, if you are reading this and struggling now, regardless of whether you’re a HICS member or not, we urge you to reach out for confidential 24/7 support by texting HARDHAT on 85258.”

The series running throughout Autumn coincides with Suicide Prevention Month during September and Depression and Mental Health Awareness month in October, and is available here:

https://nhic.podbean.com/

Episode Two of the HICS and National Home Improvement Council new mental health and wellbeing podcast series now available

How to Achieve Work-Life Balance and Manage Demands

Episode Two of the new six-part special mental health and well-being podcast is now available. In this episode, guests Michael McGougan, Head of Membership at HICS and George Jones from Cahill Renewables discuss the issues surrounding work life balance.

Michael and George kick off the podcast by acknowledging that most organisations and individuals, especially those who are sole traders, have so much to deal with, including marketing, sales, purchasing, installing, invoicing and often, chasing payments. With days filled with delivering jobs and evenings full of admin, it’s no surprise that achieving a work life balance is a big ask.

What does work life balance mean?

The podcast delves into what the phrase work-life balance means and highlights that it signifies something different to each of us. Michael makes the point that time is so precious to us all, but to deliver quality at work, we need to try to find quality downtime for ourselves, whether that be with friends, family, hobbies, etc. Michael says that from experience, the best way to start to achieve that balance between making money while removing stress, is to introduce structure into our lives.

Digital noise versus personal discipline

Agreeing with this, George comments how technology has made switching off so much harder. We can become real slaves to our inboxes. We’ve all done that ‘I’ll just quickly check my emails’ at the weekend or in the evenings. But it can become relentless, so taking a step back and introducing practical measures can be helpful. It could be as simple as having a work phone and a private phone or actually finishing at 5pm. Ironically, technology has introduced so much flexibility that it is a massive cause of stress. Another suggestion is to understand yourself and your strengths and weaknesses. Are you an early bird or a night owl? We can’t be both, so maybe structure your work around times when you know you’re most productive. If you’re a list person, maybe try prioritising by using a short ‘to do’ immediately list, and then a midterm to longer list which isn’t constantly in your line of view.

Delegation is not failing

The whole area of delegation is then put under the spotlight in the episode. Michael comments that sometimes he feels that he has failed when he delegates. He is now trying to spin this on its head and see that through delegation, you are giving someone else an opportunity – and often, they will succeed at the task at hand. We need to try to lose the fear of letting go and see how we’re actually empowering others to support us in our businesses and alleviate stress.

Time Management

Our sector is an ever-changing environment, and we may think we’ve got our days planned out, but then something comes up that takes priority. Being reactive is far more stressful than being proactive. George comments how introducing clear methods of communication with your clients can often mean they mirror you, so they are more understanding if things go wrong. It can also mean they respect your time more too.

It might sound straight forward – but take a break! Sometimes the smallest changes in our habits make the biggest difference. Try not to ‘work’ through lunch. Somehow, we seem to think that by working through lunch, we get more done. We’re all human and have our limits, with 20 minutes often cited as the optimum time for us to be able to focus properly before needing a break. Hydration, nutritional foods, and at least 30 minutes of sunlight every day is critical. We all know how physical health and wellbeing are the foundations to our mental health. Giving ourselves the opportunity to decompress is so important.

Michael concludes by discussing how HICS’ focus is to be every members’ added resource to help them get time back in their day, give practical support and above all, be there to give reassurance as the critical friend to rely on. And that’s probably what we should all take away – being open, empathic and sensitive to our own needs will in the long run, promote better mental health and reduce stress. Sometimes, being selfish is better than being selfless.

The series running throughout Autumn coincides with Suicide Prevention Month during September and Depression and Mental Health Awareness month in October, and is available here:

https://nhic.podbean.com/e/how-to-achieve-work-life-balance-and-manage-demands/ “If you are reading this and struggling now, regardless of whether you’re a HICS member or not, we urge you to reach out for confidential 24/7 support by texting HARDHAT on 85258.”

Launch of new mental health and wellbeing podcast series

HICS has teamed up with the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC) for a new podcast series to delve deeper into our industry’s pressing mental health and wellbeing challenges, and with the help of experts, to offer insight and support. HICS Chief Executive, Faisal Hussain, explains more.

Building on our two-year campaign for better mental health and wellbeing for those who work tirelessly in our sector to deliver home improvements, we decided that there was so much more we can do to help. So, along with our other Schemes, we started a collaboration with the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC), to bring together medical experts, frontline charity workers and HICS representatives to prioritise and shine a light on mental health and well-being, in a new series of six podcasts to be released in September and October 2023.

A broad range of topics

During this carefully researched and structured series, the six episodes will cover:

  • Mental health support in the industry for tradespeople: why are mental health issues prevalent in our sector; what are the effects on productivity and business; what support is out there?
  • Managing demands on your time: what does a good work life balance look like, how to juggle workloads, the importance of downtime and as simple as it sounds, how to take a break
  • Managing loneliness: many of our sector have to work away from home. We share some worrying stats of just how much of an issue this can be, and share strategies and solutions
  • Taking a holistic approach to supporting your team; the importance of training to raise awareness and help prevent crisis through better management and communication
  • Improving wellbeing and mental health; managing common mental health problems like anxiety and depression; building resilience and practical steps to take for a strong mindset
  • Accessing debt support and achieving financial health; taking control of your financial position and minimising money stress

We’d like to say a huge thank you to our own team who took part, as well as the esteemed guests we spoke to including Hannah Vickers, Chief of Staff at Mace and Head of Productivity at the Construction Leadership Council; Martin Lockham from Mates in Mind; George Jones from Cahill Renewables; Tony Steel from Band of Builders; GP Dr Rachel Cooper MBBS MRCGP: and Greg Jenkinson, from Step Change.

Listen now: https://nhic.podbean.com/

Episode One of the HICS National Home Improvement Council new mental health and wellbeing podcast series now available

Mental health support in the industry for tradespeople: why are mental health issues prevalent in our sector; what are the effects on productivity and business; what support is out there?”. This is the title for Episode One of the new six-part special mental health and well-being podcast series brought to you by HICS and the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC). This is the first podcast series to delve deeper into our specific industry’s pressing mental health and wellbeing challenges, and with the help of experts, offer insight and support.

In this first episode, Hannah Vickers, Chief of Staff at MACE Group and Head of Productivity at the Construction Leadership Council, talks with Faisal Hussain, HICS Chief Executive and about how mental health and well-being impact productivity in the sector.

Rethinking the definition of productivity

For a podcast on productivity, it made sense that the starting point for Faisal and Hannah was to explore exactly what productivity is and the results were thought-provoking. Hannah makes the point that we should not always just view productivity through a financial lens. There is a far bigger definition which involves thinking beyond turnover or profit only, to really understand the mental, physical and financial costs of delivering works, materials, skills, accreditation, training and adding value. Faisal agreed that the first step for anyone struggling with a poor work-life balance is to take a step back, and really look at what their objective is. Not all new business is the right business; not all customers are the right customers and often, going for growth only is a big driver for mental stress. Hannah also made the interesting point that from the get-go, our sector is such a visible one – it doesn’t get more under the spotlight than working in people’s homes which can often mean we’re the first to get hit by bad press and negative views. This close and constant scrutiny provides a perfect storm for mental health struggles and added pressure which other sectors don’t have.

Strategies around enhancing productivity

Hannah and Faisal then discuss helpful strategies for enhancing productivity from a position of strong self-awareness about what you want to achieve. It’s often a case of prioritisation and good organisation, taking the time to plan projects properly rather than chasing your tail constantly to deliver, forcing multiple unnecessary visits to site; double working; errors creeping in and the stress of complaints. There is also so much help available that we can get from technology and adopting the principles of lean construction, but you need to give yourself the headspace to research and take on new information. Hannah also commented that we shouldn’t underestimate the value of young people or apprentices and we shouldn’t be scared or threatened by them. They are digital natives. Faisal made the great point that people working in construction and home improvements tend to naturally be problem solvers by nature. Plan and prepare and you will perform.

Thoughts for the future

As if we don’t have enough on our plates, there are many challenges we’re facing as a sector. If many businesses are already at capacity now, this is where we need to take a stand, go back to the beginning about what we’re trying to achieve for our businesses, and let ourselves know it’s ok sometimes not to be ok.

HICS Chief Executive, Faisal Hussain, concludes,

“Rewind even five years, it was not ok to say you weren’t ok, so I’ve personally been encouraged to see how much mental health and wellbeing have become more comfortable topics of conversation in our sector. We may not have totally broken down the taboo, but we’ve certainly started to chip away at it, something that HICS is determined to continue to do. I’ve always said if these podcasts help just one person, then our job is done. And I’d like to leave the last words to an installer who contacted us recently to say that after 40 plus years in the industry, he finally understands that he is struggling with burnout. He called to thank us for bringing light to this topic. He had been ignoring the way he was feeling and now he has the knowledge and confidence to understand it and do something about it.”

Future episodes being released weekly feature more esteemed including Martin Lockham from Mates in Mind; George Jones from Cahill Renewables; Tony Steel from Band of Builders; GP Dr Rachel Cooper MBBS MRCGP; and Greg Jenkinson, from Step Change.

The series running throughout Autumn coincides with Suicide Prevention Month during September and depression and mental health awareness month in October, and is available here:

https://nhic.podbean.com/e/mental-health-support-in-the-home-improvement-renewables-sectors-and-for-tradespeople/

“If you are reading this and struggling now, regardless of whether you’re a HICS member or not, we urge you to reach out for confidential 24/7 support by texting HARDHAT on 85258.”