EDF’s Mental Health Buddies network at the Hinkley Point C power station has been nominated for Employee Network of the Year in the This Can Happen Awards.
The awards celebrate and recognise companies and individuals who have shown excellence in their approach towards positive mental health. The team find themselves in the esteemed company of leading global brands on the shortlist, including the Bank of England, PepsiCo and Bloomberg L.P.
The judges highlighted the impact the network was having in the construction industry. Feedback included: “I loved the ground-breaking work you are doing in a sector that has not been proactive in mental wellbeing. The network, support and education of your employees and other partners on your large project is superb. You are taking your work to a whole new level.”
Christina Greenwood, EDF Lead Health and Safety Advisor, said: “Our Mental Health Buddies are leading the way to change mental health here at Hinkley Point C and also, across the construction industry.
“It’s awesome that the team’s work is being recognised externally, and alongside companies who have been looking after its workforce’s mental health for many years.”
Who are EDF’s Mental Health Buddies?
The EDF Mental Health Buddies team is a community of volunteers who seek to change the culture of the construction industry, tackle the stigma attached to mental health and provide support and guidance to anyone who needs it.
Despite launching only two years ago, there are currently more than 300 fully-trained members in the network, ready to support the whole Site.
Improving attitudes to mental health
Andrew Wagstaff, Passenger Transport Service Manager, one of the trained Mental Health Buddies, said: “The team has made huge progress in a relatively short period of time. This nomination is testament to the commitment of everyone involved in improving attitudes to those facing mental health challenges and offering support to those in real need.”
The Mental Health Buddies network is a vital piece of a programme of works that is seeking to set new industry standards for mental health in construction.
In 2019, EDF won an industry 'Health and Safety 2019 Award' for mental health support at Hinkley Point C. The judges described the efforts as "a new benchmark for the industry" with an "innovative step-change of approach to mental health and wellbeing".