12 March 2024
Corporate News

Tata Steel UK's award-winning Mental Health First Aiders

Three men and a woman stand and smile outside a brick building

Tata Steel UK’s growing army of mental health first aiders received recognition at the recent Innovation Awards - an internal ceremony - for the positive impact they’ve had throughout the business.

More than 500 people have been trained since the programme – funded by the Wales Union Learning Fund projects – was first introduced five years ago, with coverage across every UK site, function and works area.  

In acknowledgement of that success, and to recognise the hard work of the volunteer team leading the initiative, the mental health first aiders were named winners of the Sustainable Innovation award – specifically Adrian Morgan, Paula Jones, Martyn Wagstaff, Mark Davies and Community Union’s Lisa Francis.  

Accepting the award on behalf of the team, Paula Jones, from Occupational Health, said: “We are all so passionate about mental health and carry out this role on a voluntary basis. The work we’ve done over the past five years was never about recognition, it was about wanting to make a difference to anyone who may be struggling and in need of help. 

“Since starting out on this journey, we now have mental health first aiders located at every Tata Steel UK site, so everyone in the business has access to help locally. We have also created a support network via Teams to keep everyone connected, and run regular sharing and learning sessions.  

“Colleagues have created individual profiles, which people can access online, and we’re in the process of drawing up a heat map to make it as quick and easy as possible for people to find their nearest mental health first aider.” 

Lisa Francis, Learning Organiser with Community trade union, said: “It has been amazing to see how this network, and interest in mental health and wellbeing, has grown massively since the first course I set up with my reps in December 2018.  

“The impact these volunteers have in tackling the stigma surrounding mental health, encouraging individuals to come forward when they need help, and how they can deliver that support to their colleagues and friends, is something I am extremely proud to have helped build. 

“I know they will continue to be an essential asset in helping employees now and in the future.” 

Paula added: “We are honoured to have won the first ever sustainable Innovation award, and would like to thank everyone who voted for us. But the biggest thank you of all goes to our amazing mental health first aider community – without them, none of this would have been possible.” 

Watch Tata Steel UK's latest mental health and wellbeing events.

Three men and a woman stand and smile outside a brick building

About Tata Steel UK

  • The Tata Steel Group has been named one of the most ethical companies in the world, and is among the top producing global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of 34 million tonnes. 
  • Tata Steel in the UK has the ambition to produce net-zero steel by 2045 at the latest, and to have reduced 30% of its CO2 emissions by 2030. 
  • Tata Steel is the largest steelmaker in the UK with primary steelmaking at Port Talbot in South Wales supporting manufacturing and distribution operations at sites across Wales, England and Northern Ireland as well as Norway, Sweden, France and Germany. It also benefits from a network of international sales offices around the world.
  • Tata Steel employs more than 8,000 people and has an annual crude steel capacity of 5 million tonnes, supplying high-quality steel products to demanding markets, including construction and infrastructure, automotive, packaging and engineering. 
  • Tata Steel Group is one of the world's most geographically-diversified steel producers, with operations and a commercial presence across the world. 

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