Founded in 1892 as a small ironmongers and steel warehouse in Carlisle, Thomas Graham is now a leading supplier of industrial steel, industrial supplies, PPE and welding equipment across the North West of England, South West Scotland and down into the Lancaster area.
From humble beginnings, today the company employs over 200 staff and operates across 4 sites. And although much larger now, the strong family ethos and culture is still a key part of the business and its success.
“Staff are our greatest asset,” said HR Manager Sue Barnes. “With growing awareness of mental health affecting 1 in every 4 people, we took the decision earlier this year to become a ‘Time to Change’ employer.”
As part of this new commitment, Sue and HR Advisor Alison were tasked with building and training a team of ‘Well-Being Champions’ within the Thomas Graham workforce.
“We first became aware of Skills Shop after one of our staff returned from a Cumbria Chamber sponsored Emergency First Aid training course,” said Sue. “Hosted by the chamber and run by Skills Shop, our colleague returned from the course with high praise for the way the training had been delivered.”
Sue contacted Skills Shop to enquire about the Mental Health First Aid training courses. Being one of only a select few providers to have gained OFQUAL Accreditation for their Mental Health First Aid training gave added credibility and confidence in the quality of the course and its delivery.
“With the help of Skills Shop, all of our managers have been trained to level 2 standard in Mental Health First Aid,” added Sue. “Alison and I are progressing with level 3 training, and currently have 49 staff trained in Mental Health First Aid. This enables our team of Well-Being Champions to spot the signs and symptoms of someone going through some form of mental anguish and signposting them to get the right help and support.”
The benefits of the training are already evident, with staff at Thomas Graham being much more open and talking about issues their facing. Sue summarised:
“Not many companies provide OFQUAL Accredited training. Skills Shop delivers our courses on-site at a date and time that is convenient for us. We foresee a long term relationship with Skills Shop. They are reliable and provide quality training services.”