RL Cares helping key workers tackle their mental wellbeing

RL Cares helping key workers tackle their mental wellbeing

The coronavirus pandemic has been a troubling time for all of us, not least the men and women who have continued to deliver frontline services to the public throughout 2020 and into 2021

Keeping the wheels of the economy turning is vitally important for companies like SSE Thermal, part of the FTSE-listed SSE plc, and one of the largest electricity generators in the UK.

SSE Thermal’s employees work across the length and breadth of the country and are busy working within Rugby League communities at sites like Fiddler’s Ferry in Widnes, Ferrybridge near Pontefract and Hull, and Keadby in North Lincolnshire.

During the pandemic, hundreds of SSE Thermal’s key workers have taken part in a series of mental fitness workshops run by Rugby League Cares, designed to equip participants with the skills and techniques needed to build and maintain good mental health.

SSE Thermal employees have heard from the likes of ex-Salford, Castleford and Hull player Lee Jewitt, former Halifax and Sheffield hooker Johnny Lawless, and inspirational speaker Jimmy Gittins, who broke his neck playing for Sharlston Rovers in 2002.

Lee, Johnny and Jimmy have all had to tackle their own challenges during their sporting careers, challenges that strike a chord with people involved in any working environment.

Kat Fox, Health and Wellbeing Manager at SSE Thermal, said the RL Cares workshops have proved hugely popular with both male and female colleagues across the country.

“At SSE Thermal, we want to ensure we have a happy, healthy workplace for all our employees, wherever that workplace may be,” said Kat.

“Since the start of the pandemic, our core focus has been on looking after the wellbeing of our people while keeping the power flowing for homes, businesses and essential services across the UK.

“Normally, we’d run face-to-face workshops around mental health training but, of course, that’s not possible now.

“We’ve previously worked with RL Cares on their Offload programme, which we found really beneficial. While Offload was primarily aimed at addressing the mental health challenges facing men, these new virtual workshops are aimed at all colleagues.

“Some employees who have taken part are sports fans, but most aren’t, and that doesn’t matter. The feedback we’re getting is that while the presenters are former rugby players, they are sharing their experiences of surviving difficult situations in a way that can resonate with everyone.

“The response has been fantastic with 70 or 80 people joining each of the six sessions.

“The RL Cares workshops are supporting people in looking after their own mental health, and in some cases, encouraging people to reach out to others to provide support.”

Emma Goldsmith, the Head of Community at RL Cares, said: “We have been delighted to have the opportunity to work with SSE Thermal during what has been a very challenging period for all their employees.

“The responses we’ve had from all the people who have taken part in the mental fitness workshops has been incredible: as well as sharing their own experiences from their sporting careers, our presenters have been able to offer lots of tips and advice on how the employees at SSE Thermal can stay healthy.

“Our outreach work runs alongside, and helps fund, the important programmes we deliver to thousands of people within Rugby League and we are looking forward to continuing to make a positive difference to the lives of everyone we engage with.”

For more information on SSE Thermal, please visit www.ssethermal.com/

To learn more about how Rugby League Cares can help your company, please contact Emma Goldsmith – emma.goldsmith@rlcares.org.uk