Six building and construction industry organisations have joined forces to tackle one of the most common threats to the health of the industry’s workforce – cancer.
By 2020 almost half of Britons will get cancer in their lifetimei. The ‘Don’t Let Cancer Ruin Your Foundations’ campaign is run in conjunction with Macmillan Cancer Support, whose building and construction industry partners are uniting to empower men to take control of their health.
The partners – Selco Builders Warehouse, Travis Perkins, Benchmarx Kitchen & Joinery, Kier Group, Costain, and Wolseley UK – will be carrying out fundraising and awareness raising activities during the first two weeks of May. Sites across the country will signpost employees and customers to Macmillan information and support.
Chris Cunliffe, Chief Executive of Selco Builders Warehouse which has partnered with Macmillan since 2013 raising more than £300,000 for the charity, said: “The aim of the campaign is to educate male employees and customers that they don’t have to face cancer alone. We want to encourage men to put their health first, by ensuring they are aware of the most common signs and symptoms of cancer.”
Research by Macmillan within the construction sector showed that almost half of men surveyed (43%) would feel discouraged from talking about changes to their health such as a lump, a suspicious mole or pain, in case they were perceived as ‘making a fuss’ii. Almost a quarter (22.9%) would feel discouraged because they are too embarrassed iii.
Further YouGov research commissioned by Macmillan revealed more than one in three men (38%) are worried about their health to the extent that they’d been ‘kept awake at night’. Macmillan believes this shows that despite the bravado some may show to friends and family they could really be struggling to face their fears.iv
Chris continues: “All of the companies taking part in the campaign are Macmillan Cancer Support fundraising partners and collectively we have raised over £1,570,000 for the charity and we hope to reach millions of people through each of the partners’ staff, customers, suppliers, contractors and their families. If this campaign helps just one man face his cancer fears and take control by seeing a doctor or talking about his concerns, then it will have been a success.”
As part of the campaign each of the partners has arranged education and fundraising activities in its locations across the country.
Alix Wooding, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Macmillan Cancer Support said: “It’s very exciting for Macmillan to be working across an entire sector and uniting businesses who would traditionally be competitors, in the name of providing vital support to people with worries about cancer.
“By working with a coalition of companies to provide Macmillan information and support we can ensure that men – who are least likely to speak out about their cancer concerns – are confident enough to do so. I’d urge anyone who would like more information to get in touch with Macmillan because no one should face the worry of a cancer diagnosis alone.”
For more information about the campaign and the signs and symptoms of cancer please visit www.macmillan.org.uk/checkup.