In Europe – where vans are the commercial worker’s vessel of choice – Ford has long been keen to help use its position as the top seller of those types of vehicles to address social issues as well. Last August, it launched a campaign called “It’s Okay to Talk” in Europe ahead of World Suicide Awareness Month in September as a way to help men struggling with mental health issues, as well as a similar program called “Make It Visible” (MiV), which addresses alarmingly high rates of suicide among construction workers in the UK. Now, nearly two years after the latter campaign launched, Ford has provided a positive update on the progress it has made thus far.
Over the past 18 months, MiV’s specially outfitted Ford Transit Custom vans – driven by the charity’s own team – have visited 600 construction sites, engaged with more than 37,000 workers, and provided critical intervention support to 284 at-risk individuals. This is especially notable because – as Ford previously shared – the UK’s Office for National Statistics estimates that two construction workers are lost to suicide every day, on average.
These unique Ford vans help the charity reach more locations to deliver advice and help guide construction workers to the kind of support they desperately need. “The MiV graphics on the van grab people’s attention and by sharing our own experiences we can open a conversation. It all starts from there,” said Andy Bishop, a member of the MiV team. “Without the MiV on site initiative we wouldn’t have been able to impact so many lives.”
“Wellbeing is at the crux of all the progress we intend to make as a company and Make it Visible is our pledge to make a tangible difference where it counts the most,” said Mandy Dean, Commercial Vehicles director, Ford of Britain and Ireland. “Witnessing our vans evolve into symbols of hope and support and hitting milestones fills us with a deep sense of pride and greater responsibility. This campaign reflects our collective commitment to positive social impact and shaping a better future for the communities we serve.”