May has been super busy and super fun. We’ve had lots going on, especially with a big push for Mental Health Awareness Week.

We are dedicated to investing in our employees and how we can improve mental wellbeing in the workplace.

It is said that one in six workers in the UK is experiencing depression, anxiety or stress. UK research suggests that 350,000 people work in construction at any one time and in a sector with a higher percentage of male workers we wanted to highlight the specific risks associated for men and poor mental health. Statistics also show that suicide is now the leading cause of death in men between 15 and 49, and they are often in employment. For this reason, we wanted to make sure our team feels supported and educated with mental wellness.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we took a topic each day to show our staff that there will always be someone close by at work who can help and who might be feeling in a  similar way. Our message for the week was that ‘its ok not to be ok’ and that talking about mental health is key and nothing to be ashamed of. We wanted to show our team that mental wellbeing means not just feeling good but also being able to share what’s going on with others in an open no judgemental way.

We often think that the mind and body are separate. But what you do with your body can have a powerful effect on your mental wellbeing. Evidence shows there’s a link between being physically active and good mental wellbeing but being active doesn’t mean you need to spend hours in the gym, it’s about finding something that suites you that you enjoy. On one of the days we gave our team a 30 minute personal training session, we wanted to encourage fun exercise and help boost energy in the morning. It was a great success and proved to be a fun way to start the day and boost the mind too!

We then had another morning sharing personal stories and experiences of mental health, stress and depression with each other. Our Managing Director Paul kicked off the session by sharing a particular time he felt really stressed and under too much pressure. We hoped by sharing personal situations will show our team that talking about mental wellbeing is a strength, not a weakness and that sharing stories can also help to share the burden.

Throughout the rest of the week we had a quiz to get our team talking with each other to help to reduce the stigma that can often be attached to mental health, especially in a male dominated industry and then we rounded the week off by doing an act of kindness. Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing. So our act to our team was an early finish while still getting paid so that time could be spent with friends and family.

Social relationships are vital for promoting wellbeing and loneliness is a contributing factor for an increase in poor mental health. All in all a very successful week with some really positive feedback.

In other Elmtree news this month we were delighted to win Sub-Contractor of the Year for 2019 at the charity dinner awards ceremony for Crest Nicholson.

We also took new photos at the Wild Place Project to show the progression of the walkway that we are constructing. It’s safe to say there have been huge developments since our photographer last visited and the photos went down well when uploaded to our social media pages. Have a look and see for yourself. The Bear Walk Project will be complete next month so watch this space!

If you haven’t already also check out pages 27 to 29 of May 2019 edition of Pro Landscaper Magazine to discover the article ‘Let’s Hear it from Paul Lynch’ from our MD.

Elmtree also announced that we are supporting Circus-Starr Spring 2019 tour. The community interest company are dedicated to making a difference to the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged children in Bristol through the magical art of circus. We love supporting our community, and this accessible and inclusive event is such a worthy cause. We were able to cover the cost of tickets for 10 children to see the show as well as supporting the event by taking up the social media package.

Circus-Starr aims to create a relaxed environment for local disadvantaged and vulnerable children. A place where it doesn’t matter what your needs are, a place where you will feel welcome and have fun!

This year they have introduced more exciting performances that are especially suitable for children who are deaf or visually impaired. By offering signed and audio described shows, making the art of circus accessible to more children than ever before! This year the Bristol show will feature a Signed Performance too.

Elmtree are proud to support Circus Starr, not only is it an inclusive show, but also a world class performance, full of breath-taking acts that hope to fuel the imaginations of children from schools, organisations, and hospices in the local area. This year’s show will be held at Keynsham Rugby Club, Crown Fields, Bristol Road, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 2BE, on Saturday 1st June 2019.

As we strive to forge greater relationships with our local community as part of our social responsibility this month we were happy to strengthen our friendship with our neighbours at St Peters Primary school in Pilning. We provided emergency repair work to the school playground steps and were lucky enough to even have the headteacher visit us on site at the Wild Place Project with some refreshments! A massive ‘Thank You’ for that! It was much appreciated by our team!

That’s it for our May round up …… This month’s top tip: Don’t forget to keep an eye out for any Japanese Knotweed in your gardens. It’s fairly easily identifiable by the heart shaped leaves and hollow stems, but if you’re not sure you can send us a photo and we will let you know if it looks like Knotweed!