National framework organisation Pagabo has appointed four new trustees to the board of its charitable arm – the Pagabo Foundation – which looks to address and tackle the taboo of mental health within the construction industry.
The four additions complete the 12-strong board of trustees, and have been named as Karen Sewell from WSP, Andrew Morris from Ashe Construction, Christine Hartigan, from SPACE & PLACE (S&P), and Elizabeth Hardwick-Smith from Pick Everard.
The Pagabo Foundation aims to raise the profile of mental health within construction and looks to fund resources that makes support and advice as readily available as possible to those working in the industry.
Managing director of Pagabo and Pagabo Foundation lead Jason Stapley said: “Our aim is to tackle what is a collective issue for the sector, so it was really important for us to have a wide range of people on the board to help our collective efforts in tackling the taboo of mental health in construction. We are thrilled to be welcoming Karen, Andrew, Christine and Elizabeth to the board, completing a really strong line-up of representatives from across the industry.
“Our new trustees are all fantastic mental health and wellbeing advocates and we have no doubts that their expertise, passion and knowledge will help to further our aims and objectives to drive industry-wide change and help to provide guidance and support to those who need it the most.”
Elizabeth Hardwick-Smith, director of HR and training at Pick Everard, said: “The work of the Pagabo Foundation is fundamentally important to the future success of the construction industry. Everyone should feel confident and able to express their feelings and the funds raised by the foundation help to signpost people towards getting the help and support that they need.”
Karen Sewell, head of UK legal at WSP, said: “Those of us in senior leadership positions have a responsibility to think wider than our own boardrooms and do what we can to address this collective issue, which has the potential to negatively impact us all. I congratulate Pagabo in pulling this brilliant team together and look forward to working with them all.”
Andrew Morris, a member of the MCIOB and business development director at regional construction company Ashe Construction, said: “The Pagabo Foundation is fundamentally important to the construction industry, especially given the worrying statistics around mental health. People need to be encouraged to speak openly and honestly – knowing that it’s okay not to be okay. We are developing a good working relationship with Pagabo and I feel that the two businesses have a shared ethos for looking after people’s health and wellbeing.”
Christine Hartigan, head of Wellbeing and Spa at national sustainable architect consultants SPACE & PLACE (S&P), said: “We work in a deadline driven industry with tight timescales, long working hours and the pressure of responsibility makes for a relentlessly stressful environment. The suicide rate within the construction industry is alarming to say the least and Pagabo’s focus on improving mental health within the sector has never been more important. I am fortunate to have worked closely with the team at Pagabo and feel that their ambitions and aims are something that I am very much aligned with, so when the opportunity to join the board came up, I was delighted.”
The full line up of the Pagabo Foundation board of trustees is: Jason Stapley, Gerard Toplass and Simon Toplass from Pagabo; Malcolm Aiston, managing director at NTW Solutions; Pat Boyle, UK managing director at Morgan Sindall; Sarah Fraser, head of the Willmott Dixon foundation, at Willmott Dixon; Dirk Pittaway, regional director at Robertson; Jon Sealy, UK managing director at Faithful+Gould; Karen Sewell, head of UK legal at WSP; Elizabeth Hardwick-Smith, director of HR and training at Pick Everard; Andrew Morris, business development director at Ashe Construction; and Christine Hartigan, head of wellbeing and spa at SPACE & PLACE (S&P).