Construction sector unites to raise cancer awareness

Published:  16 June, 2017

Macmillan Cancer Support is uniting with six companies from the building and construction sector, to raise awareness of cancer and encourage men to get support.

Benchmarx Kitchens & Joinery, ISG, Selco Builders Warehouse, Travis Perkins, Topps Tiles and Wolseley UK, have all joined forces with the charity to tackle the stigmas that prevent men from talking about their health.

The campaign will build on the success of last year's inaugural campaign, which saw Macmillan bring together companies from the industry to improve the health and wellbeing of their male workforce.

Following the campaign, the charity has had a continued presence in the industry in the form of 'Macmillan Neighbours', employees from the sector who have volunteered to be trained to provide cancer support to their colleagues. This year's campaign signals a continuing commitment from the industry to put aside commercial differences to support their staff.

The importance of the campaign and encouraging men to talk about their health is underlined by a new Macmillan survey, conducted with the cooperation of Toluna UK, of 536 'Construction Cancer Coalition' male employees, which reveals almost two in five men (38%) from the sector who report being in good health believe that, as a man, it is important to keep emotions in check so others view them as strong.

This data also reveals that almost one in five men (18%) who work in the industry and have a serious illness such as cancer, feel like 'less of a man' since being diagnosed.

From 12 to 25 June, Macmillan Cancer Support will have a visible presence in branches and sites of the 'Construction Cancer Coalition' partners, with posters and leaflets signposting men to support, and encouraging those with health concerns to Just Say the Word, and talk about cancer. Employees at all levels will also spend the two-week period fundraising for Macmillan, raising money to help the charity provide support to people living with cancer across the UK.

Natasha Parker, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "We are delighted to be working with our partners from the construction sector once again, to help combat the barriers that stop men talking about their health and cancer. We know that many men with cancer struggle with the emotional burden of the disease, but feel they have to cope alone. With our partners support we can make Macmillan’s support visible to men who may not know where to find it, and don't feel able to ask for help."

Vanessa French, General Counsel, Wolseley UK, added: "We are immensely proud of our ongoing partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, and the 'Construction Cancer Coalition' is another great opportunity for our colleagues and customers to make a real difference to people's lives. By working together across the construction sector, we can do our bit to improve awareness of cancer and change attitudes towards health. Supporting the work of Macmillan means an awful lot to our colleagues, and we will enthusiastically do all we can to encourage men to take control of their health."

For more information about the campaign, visit macmillan.org.uk/SayTheWord.

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