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Eloise Henderson
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Blaise Tapp
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Academics, researchers and organisations are being given the chance to bid for £25,000 towards a study, following the launch of B&CE Charitable Trust’s1 Occupational Health Research Award for 2020/21.

The annual award offers the opportunity to apply for a grant for research into improving health-at-work for people in construction and it has previously funded research at universities across the country.

The Trust wants to hear from UK-based organisations, such as charities, occupational health practitioners and accredited research organisations who have an idea that will:

• Make a significant difference to the health-at-work of construction workers

• Help tackle occupational health issues in construction

• Help make an important scientific contribution to the construction industry

Nicola Sinclair, spokesperson for B&CE Charitable Trust, said: “The Occupational Health Research Award is establishing a reputation for funding trailblazing studies which are already making a difference when it comes to looking after the health and wellbeing of those working within the construction industry. Our parent organisation has its roots firmly in construction and we are committed to supporting work that will improve conditions for those working within the industry.”

Last year’s award went to a research team at the University of Lincoln, to fund research around the issue of occupational (of work-related) stress within the construction industry.

Although the research has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the project lead, Dr Saad Sarhan, says he has made good progress analysing published research that has been conducted into a problem which costs the UK economy an estimated £5bn plus a year.

Dr Sarhan is planning in the coming months to interview 30 construction employees from across the industry about how stress impacts both them and their work, ahead of the publication of the report in August 2021.

He said of being awarded the grant: “It helped a lot because of the expertise of the organisation and the reputation that B&CE Charitable Trust has within the industry. The funds allow us to have time to work on this project.”

Professor Stephen Pretlove, also from the University of Lincoln, hopes the initial research by Dr Sarhan will lead to bigger things. He said: “We see this study as potentially being a pilot project for a significantly larger project as it has already identified the significant size and scale of the problem.” He also praised the support his team had received from the B&CE Charitable Trust. He said: “It’s quite unusual to have the significant level of engagement that we have with B&CE and this collaboration is much like a project steering committee.”

This year has been a record one for B&CE Charitable Trust, which has supported more people during 2020 than in any previous year, while the charity’s helpline saw a 224 per cent increase in calls between April 1 and September 30, compared to the same period last year.

To apply for the grant visit:

The deadline for applications to the Occupational Health Research Award is 5pm on Friday, February 5 2021.


Note to editors

  1. B&CE’s Charitable Trust was set up in 1991 to give back to the construction industry by providing help for people working in construction in times of need, including grants towards education, financial support and retraining. It has given out more than £3.6 million in charitable donations. B&CE Group is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1942 by unions and federations with the intention of providing financial products for the construction industry. Today B&CE is perhaps best known for The People’s Pension, a leading workplace pension scheme with more than five million pension savers from over 90,000 employers and £12 billion assets under management.