Yorkshire businesses urged to help provide a lifeline to struggling construction workers

Yorkshire businesses are being urged to support a charity helping an increasing number of construction workers finding themselves in financial problems.

The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity has raised more than £340,000 over the last decade in the Yorkshire region to help provide a lifeline to people in need of financial, physical or emotional assistance.

It is now appealing for volunteers to expand fundraising in response to an increase in claims.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The charity is the only one of its kind in the UK and receives no public funding, instead relying on the generosity of donors to continue its vital work.Alan Wright, the Yorkshire chairman, said: “We need more volunteers to come along and spread the workload and allow us to do bigger fundraising events.

Alan Wright, Kirsty Murray and Matthew Kitching. Picture: Ian HodgsonAlan Wright, Kirsty Murray and Matthew Kitching. Picture: Ian Hodgson
Alan Wright, Kirsty Murray and Matthew Kitching. Picture: Ian Hodgson

"When workers and their families fall on hard times, we need to be able to help them.”Mr Wright, 76, is the managing director of Wrights of Crockey Hill, a York-based skip and plant hire business which supplies the rail industry, local authorities and contractors.

He has chaired the Yorkshire club for the last decade.Mr Wright added: “The construction industry has given me a good standard of living and being involved with the Lighthouse Club gives me the chance to give something back.

"I joined the club as an 18-year-old in 1964 and it has been one of my passions ever since.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"There are more claims coming through now and we need to raise more money.“We recently helped a construction worker who had been diagnosed with cancer and couldn’t afford to pay his heating bills.

"We stepped in and helped him out with financial and practical support. We do it because you would want somebody to do the same for you.”

The Yorkshire committee includes vice chairman Matthew Kitching of Harrogate-based Kitching Plant Hire, whose father is another long-standing member, Kirsty Murray of construction firm Galliford Try, Nick Buckham of PIB Insurance Brokers, Chris Wright of Baildon-based Chris Wright Road Planing, and Anika Mather of Wrights of Crockey Hill, who is the secretary and treasurer.Their annual fundraising activities include a spring ball and Christmas luncheon, which takes place this year at the Leeds Hilton on November 17.

The events feature a fundraising auction hosted by Watts and Associates, the Barnsley-based specialist plant and machinery auctioneers, with prizes donated by supporters. Last year’s Christmas luncheon raised £58,000.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The events are attended by construction SMEs from across Yorkshire who use it not only as an opportunity to catch up with friends and do some networking, but also to raise as much money as possible.

Mr Wright said: “At one of our fundraising lunches, an individual paid £11,000 for some machinery that was worth £2,000 just because he knew his money was going to the Lighthouse Club.

"For a Yorkshireman that’s a big thing. How do you thank somebody for that?”

The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity provides free and easy access to a wide range of proactive resources to support the wellbeing of the workforce.

There are 21 regional clubs across the UK.• If businesses would like to support the Lighthouse Club, email [email protected]