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Live talk available at the below date and time. The Electrical Industries Charity presents a wellbeing series of inspirational speakers and leading experts in mental health, law, and reliance. The series is uplifting and educational on a range of issues impacting our industry. Format of the series will be a 50-minute virtual presentation followed by 10 minutes of questions and answers facilitated by the Charity CEO, Tessa Ogle.

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Jamie is a senior solicitor in our Employment team. He provides advice on all employment law matters to clients across a range of sectors, including: day-to-day employment advice and HR support, contracts and changes to terms and conditions, discipline and grievance, absence and performance, discrimination, whistleblowing, mental health, sexual harassment, restructuring and redundancies, TUPE, drafting and negotiating settlement agreements and corporate support. He also regularly represents clients in the Employment Tribunal and has appeared in Scotland, England & Wales and Northern Ireland.

Burness Paull LLP is a leading independent law firm, based in Scotland and acting for clients throughout the UK and internationally. They have both Scottish and English qualified lawyers and act for many household names. Our employment law team is the largest in Scotland, with significant experience dealing with all aspects of employment law and HR advice and employment tribunal representation. The employment law team is top ranked by the legal directories (Legal 500 and Chambers) and acts for clients throughout the UK and internationally.

Jamie worked in the electrical industry for 5 years before starting his legal career.

Sexual harassment in the workplace – He regularly advises clients about harassment in the workplace, including providing training to managers, and has been involved in tribunal litigation in relation to this issue. He will talk about what harassment is, how to spot it and deal with it in the workplace, and what to do if you receive a grievance or tribunal claim alleging harassment. You can contact Jamie by emailing him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before or after the event.

August 2022

We all know how much we need to look after our body and in turn everything that keeps us going on the inside, heart, lungs, liver and brain but how can we do that? The Electrical Industries Charity give you a run down in how to keep your body in tip top condition.

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Heart and circulatory diseases is an umbrella term for all diseases of the heart and healthy heart 1circulation. It includes everything from conditions that are inherited or that a person is born with,  to those that are develop later, such as coronary heart disease, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, stroke and vascular dementia.

  • There are around 7.4 million people living with heart and circulatory diseases in the UK - an ageing and growing population and improved survival rates from heart and circulatory events could see these numbers rise still further
  • Around twice as many people are living with heart and circulatory diseases than with cancer and Alzheimer’s disease combined
  • Heart and circulatory diseases cause more than a quarter (27 per cent) of all deaths in the UK; that's nearly 170,000 deaths each year - an average of 460 people each day or one death every three minutes
  • Around 44,000 people under the age of 75 in the UK die from heart and circulatory diseases each year
  • Since the BHF was established the annual number of deaths from heart and circulatory diseases in the UK has fallen by around a half
  • In 1961, more than half of all deaths in the UK were attributed to heart and circulatory diseases (320,000 deaths).

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What is coronary heart disease? 
Over time, a fatty material called atheroma can build up inside your coronary arteries. This process is called atherosclerosis. Eventually, your arteries may become so narrow that they can't get enough oxygen rich blood to your heart. If a piece of atheroma breaks off, it can cause a blood clot form. This clot can block your coronary artery and cut off the supply of blood and oxygen to your heart muscle. This is known as a heart attack. Angina is the term used to describe the most common symptoms of CHD. These include chest pain, shortness of breath, pain travelling through the body, feeling faint and nausea.

There are several risk factors that can increase the risk of developing CHD. These include:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • smoking
  • being overweight
  • not doing enough physical activity

Risk factors you can't control include family history, age and ethnic background. Living a healthy lifestyle can help lower your risk of developing CHD. There are lots of small and easy changes you can make. Learn how to reduce your risk.

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11 signs you might have heart disease

Will that pain wear off, or is it time to see your doctor or even call an ambulance? BHF Professor David Newby highlights the 11 symptoms that you need to take seriously.
Around 11 per cent of men and nine per cent of women in the UK have been diagnosed with some form of heart or circulatory disease. But what symptoms can we look out for that might indicate a potential heart problem? David Newby, BHF John Wheatley Professor of Cardiology at the BHF Centre of Research Excellence at the University of Edinburgh, tells us more about 11 signs that could mean it’s time to see a doctor.

  1. Chest Pain:
    It’s the classic sign of a heart attack, yet many people don’t realise this could be a medical emergency.
    Professor Newby says: “If you have chest pain and you feel extremely unwell, you should dial 999 and get an ambulance as soon as possible. If it’s a heart attack, it’s usually described as a heaviness, tightness or pressure in the chest; people will often describe it as ‘an elephant sat on my chest’ or ‘it felt like a tight band around my chest,’ that sort of constricting feeling.
    “If chest pains occur when you are exerting yourself, but go away when you stop, that would suggest it’s more likely to be angina. That would still mean you should go and see a doctor, but you don’t have to call 999.” Professor Newby advises that chest pains accompanied by feeling extremely unwell, mean it is probably the right time to call 999 and request an ambulance.

  2. Feeling sick:
    Obviously not every bout of nausea equals a heart attack – but if you’re getting pain as well, alarm bells should ring. Professor Newby says: “If you experience intense chest pain even when you are just sitting around doing nothing and you are also feeling sick, that is the time to call for an ambulance.” If you’re getting some discomfort, but not intense pain, as well as feeling sick, call NHS 111 for advice.

  3. Stomach Pain or indigestion:
    An indigestion-type pain or a burning sensation in your chest or stomach can be a sign of a heart attack or related heart problem. Professor Newby says: “Because the heart, the gullet [the passage between your mouth and stomach] and the stomach are all lying right next to each other, the challenge, for both members of the public and doctors, is that a burning or indigestion-type pain and heart pain can be difficult to disentangle. You could call NHS 111 for advice – they have certain algorithms they apply, but they aren’t perfect as there are no hard and fast rules that apply to everyone.”

  4. Feeling Sweaty:
    Working up a sweat when you’ve been to the gym or because it’s a really hot day, is nothing to worry about. But feeling hot and clammy along with chest pains is a sign that you should call an ambulance.

  5. Leg pain:
    Professor Newby says: “If you get a gripping, cramping sensation in your calves when you are walking, it might be worth seeing your doctor, as that can be a marker of PAD (peripheral arterial disease). It’s most common in smokers and people who have diabetes.” Make an appointment with your GP.

  6. Arm Pain:
    You might not associate arm pain with your heart, but it can be a sign of a heart attack. Professor Newby says: “If your pain is going down the arm, especially the left arm, or into the neck that makes it more likely to be heart-related than indigestion. If it doesn’t go away, or if you know you have heart disease and have used your GTN (glyceryl trinitrate) spray two or three times to no discernible effect, you should be seeking emergency medical advice.” Call 999 for an ambulance.

  7. Jaw or back pain:
    Professor Newby says: “With heart attacks, it can even happen that the pain is felt in the jaw, or the back. Again, if it doesn’t go away, call 999 and ask for an ambulance.” There is some evidence that women’s symptoms are more likely to vary from ‘classic’ chest pain, and we know that women are less likely to seek medical attention and treatment.

  8. Choking Sensation:
    Professor Newby says: “The word ‘angina’ actually means ‘choking’, and sometimes the tightness or pain can be up in the throat. People tend to describe a ‘restricting’ or ‘choking’ sensation.” If the feeling continues, and you haven’t previously been diagnosed with heart problem, you should call NHS 111 – but if you have some of the other signs listed here as well, it might be safer to call an ambulance.

  9. Swollen ankles:
    Professor Newby says: “The word ‘angina’ actually means ‘choking’, and sometimes the tightness or pain can be up in the throat. People tend to describe a ‘restricting’ or ‘choking’ sensation.” If the feeling continues, and you haven’t previously been diagnosed with heart problem, you should call NHS 111 – but if you have some of the other signs listed here as well, it might be safer to call an ambulance.

  10. Extreme fatigue:
    Feeling tired all the time can be a symptom of heart failure, as well as of other conditions. Professor Newby says: “Many of my patients tell me they’re tired, whether they’ve got heart failure or not, whether they’ve got angina or not! It’s a difficult one, because it’s so non-specific.” If you’re tired and you’ve been working long hours or staying up late, it’s probably not your heart – but if you start experiencing extreme tiredness and your lifestyle hasn’t changed, it’s a good idea to chat to your GP.

  11. Irregular heartbeat:
    Professor Newby says: “This is a hot topic at the moment, there’s a lot of focus on diagnosing irregular heartbeats. I did an audit of the heart monitors we give out to people for investigation and from about 700 people, we found only about 20 that had atrial fibrillation [which can increase your risk of stroke]. The vast majority of people just had extra ectopic beats, which are usually harmless. “I would suggest that a jumped heartbeat is usually benign and nothing to get too concerned by. Being aware of your own heartbeat is really quite common and in itself nothing to get anxious about. “If your heart is going very fast and jumping around erratically then that’s when you should see your GP. If you feel like this and then you experience blackouts, call an ambulance.”

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A healthy lifestyle will make your heart healthier. Here are 10 things you can do to look after your heart:

healthy lifestyle

1. Give up smoking
If you're a smoker, quit. It's the single best thing you can do for your heart health. Smoking is one of the main causes of coronary heart disease. A year after giving up, your risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker. You're more likely to stop smoking for good if you use NHS stop smoking services. Visit the Smokefree website or ask your GP for help with quitting.

2. Get active
Getting – and staying – active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It can also be a great mood booster and stress buster. Do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. One way to achieve this target is by doing 30 minutes of activity on 5 days a week. Fit it in where you can, such as by cycling to work.

3. Manage your weight
Being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease. Stick to a healthy, balanced diet low in fat and sugar, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, combined with regular physical activity.

4. Eat more fibre
Eat plenty of fibre to help lower your risk of heart disease – aim for at least 30g a day. Eat fibre from a variety of sources, such as wholemeal bread, bran, oats and wholegrain cereals, potatoes with their skins on, and plenty of fruit and veg.

5. Cut down on saturated fat
Eating too many foods that are high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood. This increases your risk of heart disease. Choose leaner cuts of meat and lower fat dairy products like 1% fat milk over full-fat (or whole) milk.

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6. Get your 5 a day
Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day. They're a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. There are lots of tasty ways to get your 5 A Day, like adding chopped fruit to cereal or including vegetables in your pasta sauces and curries.

7. Cut down on salt
To maintain healthy blood pressure, avoid using salt at the table and try adding less to your cooking. Once you get used to the taste of food without added salt, you can cut it out completely. Watch out for high salt levels in ready-made foods. Most of the salt we eat is already in the foods we buy. Check the food labels – a food is high in salt if it has more than 1.5g salt (or 0.6g sodium) per 100g. Adults should eat less than 6g of salt a day in total – that's about 1 teaspoon.

8. Eat fish
Eat fish at least twice a week, including a portion of oily fish. Fish such as pilchards, sardines and salmon are a source of omega-3 fats, which may help protect against heart disease. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not have more than 2 portions of oily fish a week.

9. Drink less alcohol
Do not forget that alcohol contains calories. Regularly drinking more than the NHS recommends can have a noticeable impact on your waistline. Try to keep to the recommended daily alcohol limits to reduce the risk of serious problems with your health, including risks to your heart health.

10. Read the food label
When shopping, it's a good idea to look at the label on food and drink packaging to see how many calories and how much fat, salt and sugar the product contains. Understanding what's in food and how it fits in with the rest of your diet will help you make healthier choices.

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Tom had a heart condition that required regular check-ups. He had been told that half of his heart was working at only 7% and he subsequently had a heart operation in August 2018. He is one of around 7.4 million people living with heart and circulatory diseases in the UK. Together they account for just over a quarter of all deaths. Now 19, Tom was on medication to slow his heart in order for it to be able to repair itself. Due to significant side effects that could eventually cause blindness, this was not a long-term solution. If his heart didn’t improve significantly, he would have to have another operation. This was a great source of anxiety to him.

Tom also had substantial debts. He had been told he needed a car for work to transport equipment about. But he had been threatened with losing his job if he did not purchase one and was expected to fund this purchase himself. He was also told that he needed to foot the fuel costs for any journeys under 30 miles from the office. Additionally, Tom was struggling to pay his bills on his apprentice wage. He had borrowed from family, worsening the debt he already had. His mum was fighting her own battle with cancer, and he was told that once his apprenticeship ended – four weeks from that point – he would lose his job. The pressure of everything combined was causing him to burst into tears at work with neither his family nor girlfriend knew how he was feeling. While stress alone won’t cause heart and circulatory diseases, how someone deals with stressful situations can have an impact on their heart health. This is because some of the ways people chose to ‘de-stress’ are linked to unhealthy habits that aren’t good for the heart.

It was very important for Tom to manage his stress without impacting his heart, so he contacted the EIC and engaged in telephone counselling, arranging calls around his work. This gave him a place to offload his concerns and worries without judgement. The EIC also explored his options for paying bills and sent him the funds to cover one month of bills once all other options had been exhausted. Once his apprenticeship did end, Tom quickly found himself a new job which offered a greater number of hours and higher pay. The EIC funded his petrol and parking costs until he received his first payment, easing the financial transition from weekly wage to monthly salary. This reduced the financial pressure until his new salary could provide the security he needed. Tom felt massively relieved. The help Tom accessed is due to the support of the EIC and the powerLottery. It means he got the support he needed to relieve the financial burdens in his life in order to be able to focus on his health. Without powerLottery, the EIC would not be able to offer support to people like Tom. That’s why we need you to become a powerLottery player to help EIC to continue supporting our industry members.

powerLottery is the only lottery made for our industry by our industry. It gives players 40 chances to win cash prizes ranging from £50 to £1,000 every single month. A £10,000 draw bi-yearly gives you even more opportunity to win BIG. A new car, a holiday in the sun, a kitchen re-fit or a brand-new wardrobe… Think of all the different ways you could spend £10,000.
To sign up to play the powerLottery today, click here:

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A healthy diet can help reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease and stop you gaining weight, reducing your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. Healthy eating can also help lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of some cancers. Even if you already have a heart condition, a healthy diet can benefit your heart.

Healthy Food and Diet

Everyone should aim for a well-balanced diet. Faddy crash diets may not provide the balance of nutrients you need. The best way to understand it is to think of foods in food groups.

Try to eat:

  • plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • plenty of starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. Choose wholegrain varieties wherever possible
  • some milk and dairy products
  • some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
  • only a small amount of foods and drinks high in fats and/or sugar.

Choose options that are lower in fat, salt and sugar whenever you can. A well-balanced diet should include at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day. Try to vary the types of fruit and veg you eat. They can be fresh, frozen, dried or tinned. Pure unsweetened fruit juice, pulses and beans count as a portion, but they only make up a maximum of one of your five a day, however much you eat in one day. A portion is about a handful (80g or 3oz), for example: 4 broccoli florets, or 1 pear, or 3 heaped tablespoons of carrots, or 7-8 strawberries. To help look after your heart health it is important to make sure you choose the right type of fats.

So to help keep your heart healthy:

  • Replace saturated fats with small amounts of mono and polyunsaturated fats
  • Cut down on foods containing trans fats
  • It's also important to remember that all fats and oils are high in calories, so even the unsaturated fats should only be used in small amounts.

Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which can increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Unsaturated fats, which can be monounsaturated fats (for example olive oil, rapeseed oil, almonds, unsalted cashews and avocado) or polyunsaturated fats (including sunflower oil and vegetable oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds and oily fish) are a healthier choice. Eating too much salt can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure. Having high blood pressure increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease. If you drink alcohol, it's important to keep within the recommended guidelines - whether you drink every day, once or twice a week or just occasionally.

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BHF Physical Activity Specialist Lisa Young offers tips on how we can make ourselves more active:

  1. Find an activity you enjoy and make it even more fun; listen to music while you do it or attend a class with a friend or family member.
  2. Everyday activity, such as walking or cycling to the shops or to work, is a great way to get your heart pumping. There is a greater chance of success if you build physical activity into your daily routine.
  3. If you enjoy walking, add some variety and push yourself further with Nordic walking poles. Using two poles while you walk gets your arms and core involved, making your physical activity more well-rounded. To challenge yourself even more, incorporate a small hill into the route of your walk, or try carrying small weights.
  4. Use tools to support you, such as the NHS Choices’ Couch to 5k plan. There are countless free apps available on mobile to motivate you to stay active.
  5. Set yourself a goal or challenge. Why not take part in a challenge? EIC have various challenges each year, or you could organise one yourself!
  6. Take advantage of the great outdoors – meet friends for a walk at your local park, or take your children or grandchildren for a kick-about.
  7. Encourage young children to be active through the games they play.
  8. Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator, whenever possible.

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One of the keys to a better version of you, mentally and physically, is sleeping well. We want all of our industry members to sleep as well as they can that’s why EIC have partnered with Sleepstation. Sleepstation is a clinically validated sleep improvement programme that can help you learn how to control and optimise your sleep to get the best sleep possible. Designed by experts and backed by science, the online service is proven to combat even the most severe insomnia. Their team will help you identify the underlying causes of your sleep problem and provide the personal support and guidance needed to improve your sleep. Sleepstation delivers remote care with a personal touch and that's what makes it so effective. Therapeutic support through Sleepstation is available to those in need and meeting our charity eligibility criteria.

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