A recent survey conducted by the British Grooms Association (BGA) revealed that over 70% of grooms have been bullied (including being the recipient of derogatory comments) within the workplace, either by their employer or by fellow workers and 83% of grooms who responded are suffering from stress and/or mental wellbeing problems.
The survey, which makes for alarming reading, was launched as the first stage of the Grooms Minds project and saw a total of 1315 grooms answering 13 specific questions. Comments from grooms who completed the survey included, “Bullying is rife in the industry” and “I was bullied to the extent I had a breakdown” with an overwhelming feeling lack of support from the industry and employers.
Fi Boughton, BGA Membership Officer says, “Reading the results of the survey it is shocking that in this day and age young people are still being bullied and exploited to such an extent. Having been bullied in two yards as a groom when I was young, I am aware of how damaging this type of working environment can be and what affect it can have on you. Thankfully there are great employers out there but more must be done to help safeguard young grooms in the workplace. As part of the Grooms Minds project the BGA is working closely with other professionals to help address this disturbing issue.”
The research highlights the need for urgent change within the industry, and indeed for the existence of the BGA and Equestrian Employers Association (EEA) within this profession. The Grooms Minds project aims to identify the specific issues associated with mental health within the industry to allow the BGA to focus on and develop within this area. This work will include employees, employers and those who are self employed.
The results were collated and a full report of the findings has written up by Dr Carol Hall, Associate Professor (Equine Behaviour and Welfare), Nottingham Trent University, which can be viewed on britishgrooms.org.uk.
National Anti-bullying Week 2017 is being held between the 13th and 17th November and is organised by Anti-Bullying Alliance. Follow the events on social media using #antibullyingweek.
For more information on Grooms Minds go to www.britishgrooms.org.uk.