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UK Construction Week London and Construction Sport hit the road for first ever ‘Gumball Rally’

With less than a month to go before doors open on this year’s show, UK Construction Week London has announced that it is once again partnering with the Construction Sport charity and On The Tools, on an exciting ‘Gumball’ style Van Rally, which will travel over 1,000 miles across the UK, to raise funds and to support construction families affected by suicide.

Taking place in the week preceding the show (ExCeL, May 7-9), the three-day rally will set off from London on Wednesday May 1st, travelling to John O’Groats and back, with stop-off points at UKCW construction partners along the way.​

The route will be as follows:

DAY 1 – London ExCeL to Edinburgh, via Newcastle
DAY 2 – Edinburgh to John O’Groats via Fort William
DAY 3 – Fort William to London via Liverpool

Steve Kerslake, founder, Construction Sport, said: “We love a fun challenge, but as with any of our activities there’s always an important message behind it all; mental health and wellbeing in the construction industry is a massive talking point, however for every suicide within the construction sector, there are people left behind that are affected, we want to hear from these people and learn how we can help.”

​Construction Sport was created to support construction workers both physically and mentally; the charity has set up a Just Giving fundraising page for its latest challenge Construction Sport Van Rally North

​At UKCW London, Steve Kerslake will be a panellist for a special discussion on mental health, entitled Building Better: How Prioritising Wellbeing Boosts Construction Business. On May 7th at 3.30pm, he will join Mathew Norbury, founder and CEO of FC Laboratories, and Nathan Baker, Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) on the Barbour ABI Stage, to dive into the game-changing world of prioritising wellbeing in construction.

UKCW has a host of other talks and seminars on mental health and wellbeing in construction, including:

  • Health and Wellbeing in Construction (May 7th, 11.30am) Skills & Training Hub – Jenny McLaughlin, Project Manager, Heathrow; and Jeremy Malet, Consulting Specialist, JLM Consultancy
  • Fixing The Mental Health Crisis in Construction (May 7th, 1.30pm) The Barbour ABI Stage – Trevor Steven, Mental Health Ambassador, Causeway Technologies
  • Tackling Suicide Risk in the Built Environment (May 7th, 2.15pm) CPD Hub – Anita Malster, Owner, Blossom Training
  • Understanding Mental Health in Construction: insights from on-site feedback (May 7th, 2.15pm) Infrastructure Hub – Amit Oberoi, Executive Chairman – Considerate Constructors Scheme; Sarah Bolton, Chief Operating Officer – Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity; and Paul Hay, Environmental, Health & Safety Training Manager – Lendlease
  • Well-being, How You Can Help (May 8th, 1.45pm) Culture Change Hub – Ceri Evans, Regional Manager of Contracts & Procurement, UK&I and EAMS, Bechtel Corporation; Danny Gray, Founder & CEO, JAAQ; Sarah Meek, Managing Director – Renaiss Health; Helen Chorley, Co-Founder, Property Sisters UK; Joanne de la Porte, Health & Care Director – London & South Regions, Gleeds

Sam Patel, Divisional Director – Construction, commented: “Mental health and wellbeing in construction have never been more important, hence why they feature prominently at UKCW London.

“Construction Sport has been a valuable contributor to our shows over the years, and this year’s Van Rally promises to be something special.”

​UKCW London runs from May 7-9 at ExCeL, and is once again co-located with Concrete Expo and The Offsite Show, as well as the UK’s premier event for the self-build sector, Grand Designs Live.

​A host of new features, interactive demos, and international pavilions from across the globe have all been announced, including the debut of a new Live Demo Theatre; Skills and Training Hub; a construction-specific Recruitment Zone; new C-Suite Summits; a host of international exhibitors housed in pavilions from India, China, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Germany and France.

Registration for UKCW London is now live (and free) through the new-look website.

​The London show is complemented by its sister event, UKCW Birmingham, which takes place at the NEC from October 1-3.

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Steve Kerslake and the Construction Sport after completing a previous challenge - walking from Twickenham to ExCeL London

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About UKCW Organised by Media 10 – the multi award-winning events and publishing company, UK Construction Week (UKCW) is the UK’s largest built environment event. Running twice per year in London (7-9 May 2024, Excel London) and Birmingham (1-3 October 2024, NEC Birmingham), the event attracts an engaged audience from all sectors of the construction industry to share knowledge, solve problems, and explore new, sustainable ways of working. UKCW also plays host to 100s of companies showcasing their latest innovation, products and services. For stand and sponsorship enquiries visit Social Media Twitter:@UK_CW Instagram: @uk_cw Facebook: LinkedIn: #UKCW2024 About Construction Sport Construction Sport is a charity founded by experienced construction operatives, dedicated to improving the lives of our workers. ​Within construction our physical health and safety has been prioritised; health and safety protocols have been a success, but that’s just half the battle. ​Hours up hours are invested in on-site and off-site training. We have regular updates regarding safety briefings, safety alerts, near misses, lessons learnt, working at height, people plant interface and an endless plethora of information and rules to ensure everyone remains safe. Yet little, if anything is communicated about our mental health. ​So, we decided to use sport as the conduit for change. Most people enjoy watching or taking part in sport and appreciate the health benefits it provides; it makes sense.

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