We have appointed our first site based Mental Health First-Aider.
We are working with one of our key partners, Market Place Shopping Centre in Bolton, to champion awareness of mental health.
As part of the service to shoppers, the Centre was keen to ensure that they identified a mental health first aider, something which is being called for by many companies in the UK to be mandatory as part of the ‘Time to Change’ campaign
Following a very successful mental health awareness week in 2018, Changing Minds, the Centre and Westgrove worked together to train over 80 staff in mental health awareness.
Following the training, a member of the team, Paul Ogden, one of the Centre’s Guest Service Ambassadors, took on the role as mental health champion.
Paul is now available to offer support and advice to vulnerable customers visiting the Centre as well as to the Centre’s tenants.
As part of his training, Paul completed a mental health first aid course through St John Ambulance, the nation’s leading first aid charity, and a NCFE CACHE Level 2 certificate qualification in Mental Health Awareness.
Nikki Wilson-Cook, Centre Manager of Market Place said: “With mental health in the workplace being such a burning issue nationally, we are proud to be setting an industry precedent with the introduction of our first Mental Health First Aider at Market Place.
“Paul Ogden is equipped with all the skills required to help someone, be it a colleague or a member of the public suffering mental distress, which is all too common an occurrence today.”
The Westgrove Group, based in Warrington, specialises in providing security, cleaning and security services in high footfall destinations from shopping centres and corporate businesses to retail environments.
Claire McKinley Smith, Managing Director of The Westgrove Group, said: “As a company, we take mental health extremely seriously so we are very proud to be one of the first facilities management companies in the UK to appoint a mental health first-aider.
“We are fully on board with the ‘Time to Change’ campaign, supported by many UK businesses, to take mental health more seriously in the work place as we believe that mental health needs to be given the same weight as physical first aid.
“Since starting in the new role, Paul has rolled out his training to the Westgrove team onsite and to the tenants within the Centre.
“He has already identified a number of vulnerable customers and offered them advice and support. We will be looking to appoint mental health first aiders at many more centres across our UK portfolio during 2019.”
The Westgrove Group was founded in 1998 by Group Chairmen Simon Whittle and Steve Fives. Based in Warrington, North West UK, it employs over 1,000 colleagues across the UK and has an annual turnover of £25M.
Paul Ogden, the Westgrove Group’s first Mental Health First-Aider