Welsh Construction Firm builds reputation for excellent mental health support

The Swansea-based construction division of The Premier Group already has a reputation for construction excellence within the fuel industry.

However, on a recent project with BP, the company also gained recognition for their work on improving mental health support after being appointed to undertake a knock down and rebuild project at a petrol filling station based in Swindon.

Decommissioning and Rebuilding Construction Project

The construction division of The Premier Group is one of the country’s leading high-spec construction and maintenance companies, and the project saw the Swansea-based company carry out a full site decommission including the demolition of existing sales buildings and canopy structures. The site’s fuel infrastructure was also decommissioned, which saw the removal of existing underground storage tanks.

The rebuilding of the site then included the installation of new tanks and fuel infrastructure to suit. The construction of new canopy structures and larger sales buildings were also provided to accommodate a new Marks & Spencer Simply Food store. The main site has been branded by BP and the sales building as M&S.

Improving mental health support for construction workers

The Premier Group began works on the 17 week project during May 2018, with the project recently reaching completion – however the project has hit headlines for their groundbreaking approach to supporting mental health during the project.

The construction sector has a grim history of mental health issues.  Despite the ‘tough’ reputation of construction sites, ONS research in 2017 found that low-skilled male construction workers had the greatest risk of suicide, at 3.7 times above the national average.  This is something that The Premier Group are keen to tackle, with the support of BP – which is committed to changing how mental health is viewed and supporting employees who may have mental health problems.

Community event to raise awareness and improve support

To support both employees and the local community, The Premier Group and BP partnered with local mental health charity Swindon & Gloucestershire Mind to run a mental health awareness event in a hotel close to the project site.

The event enabled staff at The Premier Group, BP and members of the community to discuss aspects of mental health and its particular impact on those in the construction sector.

The Premier Group also lend their support to Mates in Mind – a charity that aims to raise awareness, address the stigma of poor mental health and improve positive mental wellbeing in the UK construction industry, and the firm is dedicated to running community engagement projects on large projects as a way of giving back to the community while raising awareness of important issues.

Steve Evans, managing director of the construction division of The Premier Group, explains:

“Mental health is a significant concern and more awareness is needed on how it impacts those working in the construction sector. The industry as a whole has changed vastly over the years and has progressed into a far more professional and safer industry to work in. However, mental health often isn’t given the attention it deserves. We need to continue to work together to break down the stigma associated with mental health issues, particularly within the construction and fuel maintenance industry.

“It has been extremely rewarding to work with BP and Swindon & Gloucestershire Mind to raise awareness of the importance of supporting mental health and well-being, and how we can best help people in the community and our industry who may be struggling with their mental health. Our staff and their well-being is of utmost importance to us and we will continue to engage in such initiatives to maintain a positive outlook and understanding when it comes to supporting mental health in the construction industry.”

The Premier Group is a leading UK independent fuel engineering company that operates as two main divisions: construction and servicing. In addition to BP, the company works with many major national brands, including Esso, Shell, MFG, MRH, Rontec, Asda and Tesco.

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