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Seeing Christmas Differently

Ever since I joined PiLON in September, a stranger to the team and to the Social Housing sector, I have been learning constantly. It’s been a challenging endeavour but an immensely rewarding one, and I look forward to seeing what new challenges arise next year, and the year after that. This position, and all the exciting opportunities that arise as a result of it, are one of the many things I’ll be thankful for this Christmas.

The ‘season of goodwill’ is in full swing, evidenced by the endless festive tunes, and bright lights adorning homes. It’s a time of celebration, of gift-giving (and receiving) and of kindling the fires of friendship.

Unfortunately, this isn’t everyone’s reality. For some, Christmas doesn’t bring merriment: it brings sadness.

36% of people are too uncomfortable to admit they are lonely during the holiday season. It’s a shame that, in this time of togetherness, so many cannot partake.  

The cost-of-living crisis continues to take its toll. Whilst things have improved, prices remain high. Keeping homes warm this Christmas remains a necessity and goes without thought for so many of us. For others, however, it comes with a question: do I keep the home warm, or do we eat tonight? These scenarios shouldn’t exist in a first-world country. Yet here we are.

Think of those who are struggling with their mental health, or those who have no home to go to. Put yourself in their shoes. Whilst we who can indulge ourselves on decadent foods, receiving presents from those we love, we too often forget that we are but one of eight billion, and no two are the same. We at PiLON Ltd know the difficulties so many are grappling with. While we can’t change the world, we feel it our duty to make sure that we look out for those who work with us, ensuring they feel seen and heard. It’s why we’re proud to be a Company Supporter for Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, an excellent organisation working to provide emotional, physical and financial wellbeing support to construction workers and their families.

Our business approach ensures wellbeing stays on the up. Both in our offices and on-site, we encourage 1-on-1 interactions and a friendly and collaborative working environment. There is always opportunity to improve, however, and we take this in our stride. Our staff (an amazing 25% of them so far!) have done Mental Health First Aid training. This provides them with an understanding of the complexities of mental ill health, and the resolve to help those who are struggling. We also provide our staff with professional wellbeing support services free of charge, through which they receive a warm word and a kind ear.

“It’s okay not to be okay.” This adage, central to our award-winning Mental Health Initiative in 2020, holds true, though it needs tweaking. “It’s okay not to be okay. It’s never okay to suffer alone.” This Christmas, we should all be grateful for what we have and, perhaps, offer support to those who are less fortunate.


by Toby Smith, Junior Bid Writer