5 Star breaking mental health stigma @5Star_Cases #Engineering #Manufacturers

Europe’s leading flight case manufacturer joins The Healthy Workplace service and offers Employee Assistance Programme to the team, providing mental health and wellbeing support.

As one of Europe’s leading flight case manufacturers, 5 Star Cases has been serving multiple industries for over 40 years with products that ensure safe and secure transport of vital goods around the world. From entertainment, medical and telecoms to motorsports, companies like Williams Engineering F1 Team, CPL, Terry Tew Sound & Light, LCA (Lights, Camera Action), 3D Productions, Allen & Heath, Martin Audio Ltd and others have entrusted 5 Star’s 75-strong team to deliver the packaging solutions they require to successfully run their businesses. For 5 Star, building a team who trust each other, lean on one another, and share common values has been its utmost priority right from the start. This also includes normalising discussions about mental health at work and breaking down barriers when it comes to the stigma of mental illness.

Rob, the company’s Purchasing Manager, started working at 5 Star over 20 years ago as a stores operative. Over the years, he had held several positions and is currently responsible for developing purchasing strategies and maintaining positive relationships with suppliers like Penn Elcom. Rob has been instrumental in advancing the company’s success and materialising his own professional aspirations, which would not have been possible without strong support from the team. “Just the fact that I`m still here (and happy) after 26 years’ service says it all really,” smiles Rob. “Building authentic human connections is one of the things that has kept me with this 5 Star for over two decades. The openness and mutual respect we share for one another is so important.”

According to 5 Star’s Accounts & HR Manager Kirsty Locks, authentic human connections need to start with treating every member of the team as an individual and ensuring everyone feels that they belong. “This is what creates true diversity and inclusion, and that’s why we’ve been so passionate about advocating this within our team,” says Kirsty. “For everyone to feel they belong, this also means being vulnerable at times, which is why we have been integrating mental health and wellbeing services within our workplace to keep employees happy and in a healthy state of mind.”

The company has taken some important steps to ensure the mental wellbeing of its workforce is being looked after. “We’ve always known how important our staff’s mental wellbeing is, but during the pandemic we realised just how vital it is, so we did something more about it. We signed up for The Healthy Workplace, funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council and delivered by Everyone Health Ltd. The Healthy Workplace service supports workplaces across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees. 5 Star is also running an EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) in partnership with Peninsula and Health Assured, which includes mental and wellbeing support for all employees and their families, including phone and face to face appointments,” Kirsty explains.

Dan, a Paint Sprayer at 5 Star, has been working at the company for the past seven years and has been suffering with mental health problems in recent years. By sharing his story with other members of staff and being open about his condition, Dan’s story not only resonated with many other people and unleashed a flood of support, but it also signalled to everyone that it was OK not to be OK.

“5 Star has been really understanding and supportive with my problems, offering help and advice any time I need it. I’ve never worked at a place that is this caring to its employees. The management and the floor staff have always been there for me and offered a non-judgemental space, empathy and reassurance which made coping with life’s challenges just that little bit easier for me,” shares Dan.

With the addition of its new wooden packing crates, 5 Star has been further growing its staff, with one of the newest members of the team, Ian, joining just seven months ago starting as a CNC Operator and newly promoted to Department Supervisor after undertaking some intensive training.

“Even though I have been working at 5 Star for only a few months, I have already had the opportunity to learn new skills and been made to feel a valued member of a team whose hard work and efforts are appreciated. I can also see some very real opportunities for career advancement here at 5 Star which is something that definitely keeps me motivated. The other area that is equally important is the fact that the company cares so much about people’s mental health and wellbeing. We have dedicated mental health first aid trainers here at the premises, so if I feel I need to talk to someone I know where to go. This is one of the best companies I’ve worked for in a long time,” says Ian.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has really shown us how important it is to see our team as individuals with their unique talents, needs and challenges,” Kirsty concludes. “Attracting new talent is much more about listening to them and understanding who they truly are than just looking at their qualifications and experience. Open and friendly discussion about wellbeing and mental health in the workplace is essential to building a strong team of individuals. We want our employees to be the best version of themselves.”

Manufacturing Update