Prop-con obstacle event raises £31k for mental health charity – The Pagabo Foundation

Members of Pagabo, The 55 Group and teams across our eco-system have put their bodies on the line to raise funds and awareness around mental health issues within the industry by taking part in the Feelgood Games. With 130 people taking part across two days, the group has ultimately raised £31,000 for The Pagabo Foundation.

With people from industry-leading companies including Faithful + Gould, Pick Everard and Ashe, participants teamed up to take on an intensive obstacle course at the event, which took place alongside the UK’s Real Estate Investment & Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) in Leeds.

The Pagabo Foundation launched the Feelgood Games to encourage actions as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting improved mental health within the construction industry. The fitness initiative aimed to get the industry moving, highlighting the value of exercise in maintaining better mental health.


Jason Stapley, our managing director and lead for the Pagabo Foundation, said: “We’ve had such a good time bringing people together for the Feelgood Games, but even more we’re thrilled to see people really getting behind our aim – and to raise such an extraordinary amount of money from the event is the cherry on the cake.

“The construction industry has long needed to address its mental health epidemic, with latest research carried out by the CIOB revealing that 26 per cent of professionals thought about taking their own lives in 2019.

“The Pagabo Foundation is dedicated to raising funds to provide support and training designed to improve the industry’s overall wellbeing. We stand in a position to bring everyone together in the industry to improve the way things are done to reduce stresses and other factors that impact mental health – but we need to tackle this together.”


Participants worked on a group basis, ranked on their collective time to complete the course, with Lindum Group being the quickest. To reflect the need for the industry to work together to create change for mental health, teams were also ranked on their collective approach to completing the course, with Vinci Construction being noted as the most collaborative.

The Feelgood Games was sponsored by Faithful + Gould, Edge, Delineo, YourIT, Ashe, BPL, Red Kite Learning Trust, Education Alliance, Morgan Sindall, Maven Investment Partners, Cartwright Communications, Henry Boot Developments and Yondr.

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Feelgood Games launched by Pagabo Foundation to tackle mental health

We are pleased to share the news that we have launched the Feelgood Games, to encourage action as part of our commitment to supporting improved mental health within the construction industry.


The fitness initiative aims to get the construction industry moving and highlight the value of exercise in maintaining better mental health.

We’re calling for volunteers to sign up, whether that be by spreading the message or by enrolling a team to take on an obstacle course challenge set to take place alongside The UK’s Real Estate Investment & Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) in May.

Jason Stapley, managing director at Pagabo and lead for the Pagabo Foundation, said: “We’re delighted to fire the starting pistol to mark the beginning of the Feelgood Games.

“Building mental health awareness is The Pagabo Foundation’s key message and this latest initiative will continue to increase our impact.

“We realise that while not everyone enjoys doing the same kind of exercise, the benefits that come from any activity is worth encouraging. The team building challenge we have planned during UKREiiF is an ideal opportunity for people across the industry to get involved and loosen up for a vitally important cause.

“It takes bravery to speak up but we’re hoping to engage with even more business leaders who have a platform to lead by example and involve staff in their journey through the games. As well as the final event taking place in Leeds, we’re urging companies to document their favourite ways to get active and share internally and externally.”

With the most recent construction industry research carried out by the CIOB finding that 26 per cent of professionals thought about taking their own lives in 2019* the Pagabo Foundation is underpinned by the aim to put every construction employee through mental health first aid training so that it will become easier to spot and help those struggling at work.

Christine Hartigan, senior associate at SPACE & PLACE (S&P) and Pagabo Foundation trustee, said: “Having been a Pagabo Foundation trustee since 2020, it’s very exciting to now have the opportunity to properly bring people together following the restrictions we have all encountered throughout the pandemic.

“The Games have been developed by our team of passionate and caring mental health advocates, but it’s the wider support and engagement from across the construction industry that will help us drive forward awareness, profile and signposting of the issue.”


Rob Hall cycles the country for Pagabo Foundation


Rob Hall, framework director of Morgan Sindall, is taking on the fearsome task of cycling from Land’s End to John O’ Groats. The route is over 970 gruelling miles across nine days, with a climb of up to 52,529ft and all in aid of our charity, the Pagabo Foundation.


What is the Pagabo Foundation?

With the global stigma surrounding mental health slowly being broken down, one sector in which this continues to remain an ever-prominent issue is the construction industry. As an organisation with a large presence within the sector, we have created our foundation in the hope of uniting our key partners and setting out initiatives to tackle these issues head-on.

Signposting and funding existing charities is an essential part of what we do through the Pagabo Foundation. We also ensure financial support is made available to SMEs and other organisations working in the construction industry, providing a platform for greater future support for construction workers.

Rob Hall says: “The Pagabo Foundation is a great cause, and I am excited to cycle to raise much needed funds and make a difference within our industry. Mental health is so important and something that is often overlooked. I would be so grateful for any donations to my Just Giving page.“


When will this event take place? 

From 4th September, Rob will begin his nine-day journey from Land’s End.
Keep an eye on the Pagabo and Morgan Sindall social channels to keep up with his progress!


How to get involved

If you would like to get involved with Rob’s Cycle, you can leave a donation on his Just Giving Page and if you donate over £1k before 5th August you can get your company logo on his jersey! Email us at for more information

The importance of mental health awareness week within the construction industry


This week marks Mental Health Awareness Week, which this year falls as a critical time as we are emerging from the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions are continuing to ease.

It is well known that the construction industry has higher levels of both mental health-related problems, and greater stigma around them – something that at Pagabo we are actively seeking to tackle and change. A recent study by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) found that 23 per cent of construction workers are considering leaving the industry in the next 12 months due to poor mental health, so it’s more important than ever that we are taking the wellbeing of our construction workforce seriously.

73 per cent of all construction workers feel that their employers did not understand or recognise the early signs of poor mental health, nor did they feel they offered any support.

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the nation’s mental health, with government statistics showing that all demographic groups examined have experienced increases in distress after the onset of the pandemic. And, according to research carried out by Mind, more than half of adults (60 per cent) have said that their mental health got worse during lockdown.


Pagabo Foundation

These figures demonstrate why we were driven to set up the Pagabo Foundation in 2019 – for us it was a necessity, and it is even more important post-pandemic. There is still such a way to go in improving awareness and access to help, and as an organisation with a large presence within the sector we have brought together a board of trustees from across the industry to work together on tackling these issues head on.

Pagabo Foundation trustee, Christine-Alice Hartigan of Space & Place Architects, said: “Within the construction industry there are many people from all walks of life doing very different jobs, each with their own stresses. There is a necessity to break down barriers and to supply tools to help people have a greater understanding of mental health, within themselves and their employees and colleagues.

“We can embed a positive approach to mental health if we stop and take consideration for others, by acknowledging that everyone has a unique mindset and their own worlds with events taking place, and just allow for humans to be humans. There are so many different skillsets and talents in the industry, so we need to inspire each other. Plus, remembering to look after yourself and your mind is key to managing stress and preventing a lack of wellbeing.

“The Pagabo Foundation is working to help break down these barriers and reduce the stigma attached to mental health within construction through organising events and conducting research to find out what we can do to help.”

As well as the work of the Pagabo Foundation, we are focusing on occupational health and wellbeing under out ‘The Future of Construction’ initiative, under which we are currently running trials to explore the effectiveness of Moodbeam’s innovated wearable wellbeing tool in the workplace. With Moodbeam, we aim to put the power of self-reflection and emotional awareness into everyone’s hands to make mood visible, conversations easier and the world a happier place. The trials are taking place over three months, where participants log how they feel and answer questionnaires about it – and our staff are taking part in this too.

In recent years employers have increasingly woken up to the very real impact of stress and anxiety in the workplace. We want to drive our industry to take huge leaps forward in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and educating as many people as possible as to how and where they can seek the help they might need. Making support and advice as readily available as possible is key to making sure the right support is in place for the people who need it.


If you wish to donate our Pagabo foundation, please click below.

Regaining Connectivity, Certainty and Control: Stress Awareness Month 2021


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. Whilst many of us have enjoyed new opportunities for spending increased time at home under a slower, more sedentary approach to life, others amongst us have been facing challenges that are stressful, overwhelming and have stirred up strong emotions.

We’ve understood the need for social distancing, yet it’s left us feeling isolated, lonely and unable to properly unwind from the ongoing demands of working life.

To mark the start of Stress Awareness Month 2021, Pick Everard‘s Elizabeth Hardwick-Smith discusses the impact that stress can have on someone and the role an employer can play in supporting their staff during periods of stress.


The figures speak for themselves.  The Mental Health Foundation found in their latest research that 74% of UK adults in the past year have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope as a result of stress.  This is supported by recent research undertaken by The Stress Management Society who reported 65% of people in the UK have felt more stressed since the Covid-19 restrictions began in March 2020.  They found the three causes of concern to be feelings of disconnection, uncertainty and a worrying loss of control.  This in turn has helped shape the theme of 2021’s stress awareness month – ‘Regaining Connectivity, Certainty and Control’ and the Society’s 30 day challenge Stress Awareness Month 2021 – The Stress Management Society

The construction industry needs this proactive ‘call to action’ no less than any other.  In 2019 the CITB reported that the industry was already one of the most stressful sectors to work in, with more than 4 in 5 construction workers saying they felt stressed at least some of the time during a typical week.  The industry remains under intense stress with the added pressures of Covid-19. The demands of caring for family, job uncertainty, fluctuating workloads and the additional physical challenges of staying safe at work, have heightened what was already a growing mental health crisis within the industry.


Understanding stress

Stress is the body’s natural response to pressure, producing physical and emotional responses.  Many of us often do not realise we are under stress until it has started to become too much and consumes us.  Often, we may have a feeling of being under pressure but ‘coping’ and we can sustain this for some time since it is not adversely affecting us.  Indeed, pressure or mild stress may actually bring positive results through increased focus, performance and productively.  But there is a fine line between being able to cope at this level, to then hitting a tipping point of severe stress or burn out.

Stress can negatively affect our mental, physical and emotional health, our quality of life and create interpersonal and performance issues. Even positive life changes such as a new work opportunity or new house, can produce stress. At its worst, stress can be debilitating, and since it is a normal part of human existence — nobody is immune to it.


The role of employer support

Employers have a crucial role in being an anchor and support for staff during periods of stress.  At Pick Everard, we recognised early into the Covid-19 period, the importance of arming ourselves with knowledge so that we could more readily recognise when stress was rearing its head in ourselves and others.  In turn, we moved quickly to equip our staff and line managers with the tools they needed to address it – providing guidance and training in how to spot changes in our colleagues, to enable access to personal resilience toolkits, and to take quick action to talk to and sign-post colleagues before mild stress issues became severe ones.

We all experience stress differently in different situations so one of the challenges we faced as an organisation was being able to spot signs of stress in others during a uniquely demanding period, but also whilst we have all been remote from each other.  We were much more reliant than usual on staff being able to notice changes in themselves. Pick Everard worked hard to ensure multiple routes were provided for staff to speak up about the challenges they were facing – be that through line manager ones to ones, surveys, increased access to Mental Health First Aiders or our EAP.

We’ve also ran regular broadcasts to stay connected to staff, enhanced the information available on our intranet, implemented a ‘Call a Colleague’ initiative and taken part in Pagabo’s industry-wide study with Moodbeam one.


Breaking down the stigma

Covid-19 has turbo-charged important work in breaking down the stigma of mental health. My own commitment to this movement has extended beyond my role at Pick Everard to my work as a Trustee of the Pagabo Foundation.

Established to combat issues surrounding mental health in the construction industry, The Pagabo Foundation has continued to support the drive for an important change across the industry throughout Covid-19.  It’s chief aims are to normalise conversations about mental wellbeing, to raise the profile of the unique struggles in the industry and to sign post those in need to expert advice.

Partnering with Mates in Mind, The Foundation acted quickly by releasing guidance during lockdown 1.0 on how to spot the signs that our mental health may be suffering.  Spotting the signs your mental health might be suffering (  This was further supported by two videos created in Partnership with Mates in Mind, aimed at providing practical advice for those who may be struggling with loneliness or need help managing their mental health in uncertain times. Pagabo and Sypro come together to support Mates in Mind

To mark world mental health day (2020), a Pagabo Building Blocks podcast special was released.  The reasons behind the foundation and it’s vital role were discussed, as well as our experiences of mental health challenges across the industry and how the pressures can affect anyone, at any level.  In response, as Trustees we’ve met regularly, working with commitment and compassion to build some fantastic plans for 2021 and beyond.


Hope and new horizons

We’re now starting to see the green shoots of hope appearing for the control of Covid-19 and the curiosity surrounding the ‘future of work’. We recognise, however, that it will be sometime before we fully understand the devastating impact this period has had on our collective mental health.  Our proactive efforts as individuals, employers and as a charity will need to continue long beyond Covid-19.  Stress Awareness Month presents the perfect opportunity to re-energise and re-focus on the need to look after ourselves more, to keep talking about stress and its effects and to share our coping mechanisms.  It is only through these ongoing efforts that we can drive real change and support greater resilience for our collective future across the industry.