Housebuilder continues Samaritans support after ‘unprecedented’ year

CALA Group has announced an extension to its charity partnership with Samaritans following a year of support which saw the housebuilder donate more than £144,000 in corporate donations and through the fundraising efforts of staff, suppliers and subcontractor partners.

CALA announced a two-year partnership with Samaritans at the start of 2020, just weeks before the first national lockdown. The firm has revealed it will continue to support the charity’s vital work for another year. Research from Samaritans has highlighted the impact of the pandemic on the nation’s mental health.

Despite the temporary closure of sites and many staff working from home, the CALA team continued to raise money through virtual events, support for the charity’s national campaigns such as Brew Monday, and individual challenges. Those who had signed up to organised events such as the London Marathon and the Edinburgh Kiltwalk completed them virtually.

Matt Lock, head of corporate partnerships at Samaritans, said, “I’d like to thank everyone at CALA Group for an incredible first year in partnership. This year has been a challenging one and Samaritans is a critical service needed now more than ever. Since social distancing restrictions began in March 2020, Samaritans volunteers have spent almost one million hours listening to people struggling to cope. CALA’s phenomenal support has meant that we can continue to be there, every day and every night. Together, we can make change that saves lives.”

Kevin Whitaker, chief executive of CALA Group, added, “When we started our charity partnership, no one could have foreseen the year ahead and just how crucial the incredible work of Samaritans volunteers would be. It has been a privilege to play our part in ensuring Samaritans is there for people when they need them most. Mental health is as important as physical health at CALA and our partnership has also helped us to promote positive mental health and support employee wellbeing.”