Hospitality & Tourism

Published: December 10, 2019 | Updated: December 10, 2019

Brewer launches new mental health initiative as its team tackles busiest time of the year

Matt Kearsey, Managing Director, Hall & Woodhouse.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Thousands of team members working for Hall & Woodhouse, the independent family-owned Dorset brewer, are to be invited to take part in a stress and wellbeing survey.

It comes as workers in the hospitality sector gear up for the busiest – and most pressurised – time of the year.

The confidential online survey is designed to measure levels of pressure in all aspects of life, including home and the workplace.

Once employees at Hall & Woodhouse have completed the survey, they’ll receive a personalised report highlighting areas of their home or work life that may be under pressure.

The report will also recommend relevant support and resources, with the aim of helping team members to reduce these pressures.

Matt Kearsey, Managing Director, said: “Mental health is a very real problem with one in four people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem each year.

“At Hall & Woodhouse we are committed to providing mental health support to all team members and creating an environment where people feel they can talk about their mental health.

“This is especially so as we head towards the Christmas season, when so often the pressures we face are magnified. It is the busiest time of year for people working in hospitality.”

Once all of the survey’s findings have been collated, Hall & Woodhouse will then produce a wellbeing calendar of events for the next year that will be tailored to help reduce the pressures being faced by team members.

The Hall & Woodhouse brewery in Blandford St Mary.

The business has also invested in mental health first aid training, with 15 qualified first aiders throughout the company having completed the accredited training.

It was provided by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England.

Mr Kearsey said: “Our mental health first aiders are the first point of contact for any team member who maybe experiencing a mental health problem, or if they are concerned for a colleague’s wellbeing.

“They are there to listen and to help refer team members to relevant support when they need it.”

Hall & Woodhouse also provides all team members with access to a 24/7 telephone support line service where they can seek counselling and help with legal, health and wellbeing issues.

In addition, The Woodhouse Trust, a charity that was set up 20 years ago, helps current and former team members who are suffering real financial hardship.

The business also works closely with the Licenced Trade Charity, that specifically provides free services and financial assistance for people working in the brewery and pub industry.