A development, building and property maintenance company will train nearly 400 people in suicide prevention, after partnering with a national charity.

Wates Group’s alliance with charity PAPYRUS will see 90 employees and 300 people from the communities the firm works in offered applied suicide intervention training.

The partnership came about after Wates’ employees were asked to choose a charity partner for the next three years.

PAPYRUS is dedicated to the prevention of suicide and the promotion of positive mental health and emotional wellbeing in young people, and specifically works with people aged 35 and under, as suicide is the biggest killer of people in this age group in the UK.

Suicides among construction workers, furthermore, are at their highest level since records began, with around two people taking their own life every working day.

Eoghan O’Lionaird, Chief Executive, Wates Group, said: “The statistics on suicide in our industry are devastating, and it’s a cause everyone at Wates cares deeply about, as they demonstrated when selecting PAPYRUS to become our next charity partner. As employers, we not only feel a responsibility to address the issue of suicide within our industry, but we are also committed to supporting the communities where we work, to do more to promote wellbeing among young people, and to stop these numbers from continuing to rise.

“This partnership with PAPYRUS will provide vital training for our employees and members of the wider community, as well as sponsoring much-needed posts at the charity so it can continue its important work. We look forward to closely working with PAPYRUS over the next three years to raise awareness of this serious issue.”

Ged Flynn, Chief Executive at PAPYRUS said: “We are overjoyed that our work with Wates Group over the last few years has assisted in us now becoming its official charity partner.

“Not only will this partnership be transformational for us as a charity, but we believe that the positive impact that it will have on such a large group of people will be hugely transformational for the construction industry.

“We are thrilled and are looking forward to making plans and starting our partnership. Together with Wates, we will help to save many lives and keep young people safe from suicide.”

In addition to the training, the partnership will sponsor at least one new community development officer, one new HOPELINE247 Advisor and one new suicide prevention hub at the charity.  HOPELINE247 is PAPYRUS’ helpline aimed at people under 35 who are experiencing suicidal thoughts, or anyone concerned about a young person who may be thinking about suicide.

Wates also aims to raise a minimum of £225,000 for the charity over three years through a series of events and activities to promote awareness of suicide prevention among employees and the wider community.

For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice, please contact HOPELINE247 on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email [email protected]