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Antony's Trainee Challenge: Tackling mental health in construction

Antony’s podcast series and get active campaign raised awareness of mental health in construction

For this year’s Willmott Dixon Trainee Challenge, Antony Rees, a final-year management trainee in the Wales and West team, set out to encourage people to talk about mental health in industry.

Creating a three-part podcast series, and Move Your Mind, an initiative to promote the mental health benefits of physical activity, Antony’s project aims to create safe spaces to talk about mental health in the construction industry and help direct people towards helpful resources.

Mental Health Podcasts

The podcasts were created with support from a local radio station, BGFM Radio with guests from the construction industry invited to share their experiences of mental health. The three-part podcast series was made available to Willmott Dixon people and our supply chain partners.

Antony said: “Hearing how someone else deals with poor mental health and what resources are available to support could help someone who is currently struggling.

“The project also shows that the construction industry does look after its people and that there are plenty of resources available to help people experiencing mental health difficulties.”

The podcasts featured three people with different roles in industry with each discussing perceptions of mental health in work and their own experiences.

Guest on one of the podcasts, Lawrence Beach, Client Development Director at Acorn Recruitment, said: “We applaud Willmott Dixon for taking the issue of mental health awareness in construction so seriously. It was a pleasure to be able to give our insight on the challenges that are often faced by individuals and the difficulty in bringing these to the surface. Hopefully the contributions made through the podcast encourage more people to consider how they approach the wellbeing of employees and colleagues.” 

Move Your Mind

Launched during September 2022, the Move Your Mind campaign to encourage exercise saw 48 events organised by Wales and West people, including supply chain partners and charities, to highlight issues around mental health. Physical activities on offer ranged from group walks and hiking trips to ice hockey and a charity golf day.

Move your Mind participants at summit of Pen Y Fan.

"Each of the activities was inspired by specific statistics related to mental health," said Antony.

"For example, the Wales and West Trainees hiked up Pen y Fan together, in which was 4 miles long. This was to highlight that 1 in 4 people in the construction industry will experience problems with their mental health every year."

The Trainee Challenge see each management trainee start with just £500 seed money to deliver projects in support of the Now or Never strategy. Antony's project supports the strategy’s Building Lives theme, which aims to support people and businesses in our communities to thrive.

Antony is keen to make Move Your Mind a regular event to raise awareness around mental health in industry, so watch this space for updates.


Willmott Dixon trainee created a podcast series and ‘get active’ campaign to support mental health in the construction industry.