Local five star housebuilder, Barratt Developments North East, is continuing with its initiative designed to support charities and organisations in the areas in which it builds, which is needed now more than ever. The Community Fund sees the housebuilder donate £1,000 each month to a community group or charity across the North East region. As part of the scheme, Barratt Developments is supporting suicide prevention charity, Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) in their work across all areas of the country, including the North East.

CALM is leading a movement against suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK and the cause of 18 deaths every day. During the first three months of lockdown, CALM’s life-saving helpline answered 34,172 calls and chats, and directly prevented 148 suicides. In 2018, the North East recorded the highest rate of suicide amongst men, which is why their work across the region is hugely important.

Employees at Barratt Developments were all asked to nominate a charity that they wanted to dedicate a monthly Community Fund to, and now the housebuilder’s £1,000 donation will help CALM to continue to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health, and provide vital life-saving services for people that are going through a rough a patch and need someone to talk to.

The donation follows Barratt Developments’ recent partnership with construction mental health and wellbeing charity, Mates in Mind, in which the housebuilder’s employees participated in mental health awareness training, including its board of Directors, Sales Managers and Line Managers across all departments. During the training, employees learnt about a variety of subjects including how to start and manage the conversation surrounding mental health, identify mental health symptoms, handle stress levels within the workplace and understand how to deal with a person who is in crisis, amongst many more.

Simon Gunning, CEO from CALM, commented: “We’re extremely grateful for Barratt Developments North East’s generous donation. Since lockdown we’ve experienced record levels of demand, and thanks to your support we’ll continue to serve those who need us via our free and anonymous life-saving services, no matter what.”

Carl Sobolewski, Managing Director at Barratt Developments North East, commented: “The team at CALM do a truly fantastic job in offering their support to those in need, and as this charity has been personally nominated by our employees, it holds a particularly special place in our hearts. We hope that our Community Fund donation will help CALM to continue to raise awareness of its mission and provide its much-valued support and guidance across both the North East, and the country.”

Last year, as part of its Community Fund initiative, Barratt Developments North East donated £12,000 to various charities and organisations across the North East region, including Dementia Matters, Morpeth Mental Health and Newcastle West End Food Bank.