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Stagecoach East Midlands asks... Have you got 'Time to Talk'?

23 Jan 2018

Juliette Burton and Cllr Jane Hyldon King help lift the lid on mental health issues at public event in Grimsby

On Thursday 1st February 2018, Stagecoach East Midlands, in partnership with the charity ‘Time to Change’, will be at Grimsby Riverhead with well-known comedian Juliette Burton to raise awareness around mental health.

Time to Change started a movement to bring mental health issues to the forefront of today’s society by highlighting the importance of sharing and communicating our issues and not being afraid to ask for support from those around us.

The public event will be held at Riverhead in Grimsby between 1000 and 1400 where comedian Juliette Burton will be opening up about her own experiences with mental health and answering questions. Staff from Volunteer Action North East Lincolnshire and NAViGO will be on hand to offer information, signposting and advice, and tea and biscuits will be served on a Stagecoach bus, providing a confidential and private area.

As a further sign of commitment to their employees Michelle Hargreaves, Managing Director at Stagecoach East Midlands will be signing a ‘Time to Change’ pledge at Grimsby depot with Councilor Jane Hyldon King, portfolio holder for Health, Wellbeing & Adult Social Care at North East Lincolnshire Council, in attendance.

Events will also be held for Stagecoach East Midland employees at Grimsby, Lincoln, Hull, Mansfield, Scunthorpe, Skegness and Worksop depots, where staff will be given the opportunity to be involved with ‘Time to Talk’, find out more about mental health issues and the support available.

The involvement in the ‘Time to Change’ scheme is yet another step in Stagecoach East Midlands’ project to provide their workforce with the tools, information and access to support healthy lifestyle choices. The bus company spearheaded an initiative in 2016 to provide the best possible working environment for their staff’s welfare and well-being.

Last year saw bootcamps, exercise bikes, free fruit and recipe cards among an array of health-boosting initiatives introduced by Stagecoach East Midlands to aid the well being of employees, as well as a Biggest Loser weight-loss competition and Pedometer Step Challenge.

Managing Director Michelle Hargreaves said: “We were keen to work with Time to Change and become part of their efforts to lift the lid on mental health issues, and we’re delighted to be teaming up with Juliette. After introducing the health and well-being initiative in 2016 we want to keep up the momentum, providing new ways to support the welfare of our employees.

“Unfortunately mental health issues can still be a taboo subject which is why we were keen to extend the events beyond just our own people to the wider public. Effecting change and giving back to the wider community was the main driver behind our reasons for getting behind this event, and, if this event in any way encourages people to talk then it has been a success.

“We already have plans for health screening checks and lots more for 2018. Our staff work hard and often don’t have the time to take care of themselves the way they would perhaps like. The committee is a dedicated team, who listen to the employees concerns helping shape our plans”.

Councilor Jane Hyldon King, Portfolio Holder for Health, Wellbeing & Adult Social Care at North East Lincolnshire Council said:  “I am extremely supportive of the work being undertaken by Stagecoach East Midlands and delighted to be attending the signing of the Time to Change pledge.”

“Michelle Hargreaves and her team have focused on the health and well being of their staff through a number of engaging initiatives that they have now extended to the public.” 

“Understanding and communicating with your work force should be a priority for employers across the UK, I am pleased to see that Stagecoach are forging a path and setting a standard for companies who recognise the importance of investing in their staff.”

Stagecoach is also partnering with health-related charities to hand out advice and information.

Health Engagement Days have also been taking place at depots including Hull, Scunthorpe, Lincoln and Grimsby. The event includes free health checks, healthy breakfast and lunch options and recipe books. Staff is also given insulated lunch bags, mugs, leaflets from the Public Health England Campaign ‘One You’ and information from Cancer Research regarding bowel cancer.

The public ‘Time to Talk’ event takes place from 1000-1400 at Riverhead, Grimsby.