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McCann named finalist at 2020 Highways Awards

We’re delighted to announce that we have been announced as a finalist in the 2020 Highways Awards after being shortlisted in the Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Highways Sector category, sponsored by leading mental health charity Mind.

The annual award ceremony is hosted by Highways Magazine, a leading industry publication which since 1934 has covered the latest highways industry news from across the UK. The annual event recognises, rewards and celebrates the amazing people, teams, projects and innovations that have helped the industry to reach new heights. Highways chooses winners that reflect and demonstrate the highest industry standards.

Brand new this year, the ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Highways Sector’ category in partnership with Mind rewards companies that “take a joined-up approach to supporting employee mental health and wellbeing and strive to embed best practice across their organisation”.

2020 will mark the 17th Highways awards ceremony which will take place at the Royal Lancaster, London, on Thursday 28th January 2021. The event will bring together shortlisted organisations across 16 categories including Highways Maintenance Efficiency, Team of the Year, Site Safety Initiative and Environmental Sustainability in the Highways Sector.

Though a long-established commitment for our team, our dedication to ensuring the physical and mental wellbeing of our team has shone through during the lockdown in particular, with a number of initiatives set out to ensure that every member of staff receives the support needed to cope with uncertain circumstances.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager Michael Valentine recognises the importance of investing in the wellbeing and mental health of the company’s employees and sees our approach to this, particularly in 2020, as setting a great example for the industry as a whole.

“Despite speaking to people on a daily basis in a work capacity, you never know what’s going on in someone’s personal life. It’s crucial for our employees to know that there’s always support available to them should they need it and that as a company we’re on hand to support them with anything they might be dealing with either at home or at work,” says Michael.

“Through a dedicated support network, we can help to equip them with all of the tools they need to succeed in their role and at home,”

He adds “Research from a poll by Time to Change suggests that only 13% of workers would feel comfortable discussing their mental health at work – that’s a statistic that needs to change. At McCann, we strongly believe that no one should feel ashamed or alone if they’re struggling to manage their mental health and wellbeing and this approach should apply for all work environments and industries,”

“All of our offices and sites are safe and welcoming spaces. We reassure our team that discussions around mental health and wellbeing are encouraged and that our management team is always on hand should anyone need someone to talk to or confide in on a one-to-one basis. Not only is this support there for employees, but it extends to their families too – creating a true support network.”

Managing Director, John McCann, is full of praise for Michael and the organisation’s approach to a topic that has become more prominent for businesses in recent years. He sees our nomination at the 2020 Highways Awards as testament to the investment of time and resources in mental health, wellbeing and EDI.

“Mental health has been stigmatised for too long within workplaces, especially when it comes to the construction industry. Speaking about mental health shouldn’t be seen as taboo or a sign of weakness – it’s time to stand up and make a change,” says John.

He adds, “Michael and the team have been busy in lockdown ensuring that our workforce receives the support required to feel fulfilled both at work and their personal lives. This has included funded gym memberships, regular chats with line managers, the opportunity to speak to people one-to-one if lockdown has felt too much for them, access to dedicated support lines for mental health and wellbeing and company-wide initiatives to bring people together and provide a collective sense of purpose,”

One of these initiatives included our Group’s Cycle to Spain challenge, which saw the company virtually cover the distance from Nottingham to Madrid and back again all from the comfort of our own homes or through daily exercise allowances. We successfully raised over £1,300 for NHS Charities Together with this final amount match-funded by the business – supporting the NHS with the purchase of vital PPE and medicines.

John continues, “Our nomination at the 2020 Highways Awards is a real honour and showcases how seriously we take mental health and wellbeing as a business. We look forward to the awards ceremony in January and seeing many of our industry peers at a landmark evening for the industry.”

For more information about this year’s Highways Awards, visit

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