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Astley proves that mind does matter

Astley proves that mind does matter

Gateshead-based signmaker Astley is putting staff through training to ensure mental health support is available for any employee who needs it.

The company is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of its workforce, with mental health being a priority for the company in 2019.

To support this, five employees from different areas of the business have undergone an intensive programme of training to become qualified ‘mental health first aiders’ to support their colleagues should they be experiencing any mental health issues. Support is entirely confidential and reassures staff help is available if or when they need it.

Gavin Redhead, Astley’s Commercial Director said: “Mental ill- health can affect anyone at any time and is something that as an employer we take very seriously. We know it can be a taboo subject, something people are often embarrassed or afraid to seek help for, but we want our employees to know that if they need it, help is available from staff who have been specifically trained in this area. We want to remove the stigma which is so wrongly attached to mental health issues.”

Astley is one of only six businesses in the North East to have mental health first aiders in place and, to further support this initiative, it has linked to the Mates in Mind charity, which aims to raise awareness, address the stigma of poor mental health and improve positive mental wellbeing in the UK construction industry.

Adrian Black, HSQE Manager at Astley explained: “Our mental health support programme is all part of a wider package of wellbeing care offered to staff. It demonstrates the commitment Astley has to the people within the business and the belief they are the most important contributing factor to the continued growth and success of the business.”

Astley employs 145 people at its Team Valley headquarters and also has sites in Glasgow, Leeds and Kettering, following its acquisition of Sign of the Times. In late 2018, both Astley and Sign of the Times triumphed at the British Sign Awards scooping the Rollout programme of the Year, Illuminated Sign of the Year, Craftsman Award and the Innovation Award. In addition, Astley Production Team Leader Ian Dixon was shortlisted for Young Signmaker of the Year.

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