How are you? It’s a simple question, but so important to ask and to take the time to listen carefully to the answer. Our Head of Welfare and Wellbeing, Debbie Beck talks about checking in on others and how The Printing Charity is here to listen and support anyone in need of help.

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health and it’s great that this is more widely recognised. Since Covid-19 I feel we have all become more self-aware of our own mental health and of the mental health of those around us. 

One of the most difficult parts of my role is hearing about people’s challenges and how they are struggling as a result. However, like the rest of the team, it is rewarding to hear from people that our support has made a difference to their lives. We try to provide people with the tools to help themselves and, if appropriate, encourage them to get back into work, even if it is to a different industry, and give some financial support while they do this. This is because working and establishing a routine make people feel valued which has a huge impact on wellbeing.  

How the Printing Charity support people

There is a range of ways the Printing Charity supports people. We have grants for white goods such as fridges and cookers, or for furniture such as a new bed or sofa. We can give  short-term financial support, to help someone with their living expenses while they recover from illness or while seeking employment. During COVID-19 we introduced a new emergency grant which releases funds quickly and is available to people who wouldn’t usually qualify for our support.  We can also contribute towards the cost of care or for therapeutic services whilst receiving care. 

The Welfare and Wellbeing team supports those that have a financial need, but we recognise that giving a grant won’t solve everything. As part of our service, we signpost people to other organisations including debt management, gambling and addiction, which are all things that impact on wellbeing.  

Another way of offering support is by referring beneficiaries to our free, confidential helpline for advice and emotional support.  This can be practical advice from CAB trained advisers or counselling from BACP trained counsellors.  

Who is eligible for support?

People often think they won’t be eligible because they have left the industry or are retired but that isn’t the case. We help people with a print history of at least three years and that doesn’t have to be current or consecutive. We will also consider helping if the print connection was through immediate family such as a parent or adult child.  For people with a shorter print history, we may not be able to offer financial support, but they will still be eligible to use our helpline, even if they need help on their first day in the industry.

Asking for help isn’t easy, and now more than ever it’s vital that we ask our friends and family how they are, and really listen to the answer. A lot of people will say they’re fine but, if you’re not convinced, ask again. It’s okay to ask twice.

If you are connected to our industry and need support, speak to our Welfare and Wellbeing team.