Throughout October Society staff have been offered the opportunity to take some time out of their daily routine and focus on wellness in all its guises, with a variety of sessions ranging from yoga and meditation to professional talks regarding women’s hormones and mental health.
Our Leaning and People Development Manager Sam Roberts who helped organise and promote these activities to staff, explains why she felt this was time well spent:
“We recognise the importance of a healthy body and mind for all of our employees and want to provide as much support as we can so our people can thrive in and out of work. Therefore, we introduced a month focused on wellness to raise awareness and provide tools to support everyone on their wellbeing journey.”
Each week had a focused theme to ensure the varying areas of wellness were covered and there was something everyone would find useful.
Week 1 – Health & Lifestyle
Staff were gifted a personalised water bottle to highlight the importance of being well hydrated and fresh fruit hampers were delivered to all staff to promote healthy eating. Online sessions on the importance and practicalities of good sleep were provided by Jenny Collard from Rutland House Counselling and Psychotherapy and lunchtime stretch classes were provided at The Gym Group with personal trainer Nadine Zia.
Michelle Tong, Junior Compliance and Monitoring Officer, said:
“The personal trainer was really friendly, and she took us through 30 mins of various yoga-based stretches. It was a perfect for a dinner time session!!
Week 2 – Mental Health Awareness
Week two saw the focus move to the mind with a week of mental health awareness, noting World Mental Health Day on the 10 October. Online tea and talks were organised where work chat and phones were banished and sessions on mental health awareness were provided by Jasprit Kaur from Rutland House Counselling and Psychotherapy, and the CEO of local mental health charity LAMP spoke to staff about reaching out and asking for help.
Carolyn Thornley-Yates, Director of Mortgage Proposition & Distribution, reflected on the session with LAMP:
“It was really empowering and reinforced that everyone needs help sometimes, and that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness!”
Week 3 – Self Care
The third week delivered a hearty dose of self-care options for our staff to take part in, ranging from talks with local leadership coach and author Sarah Higgins – who spoke about strategies for a happier and more resilient mindset and life, to ‘paint yourself positive’ lunchtime sessions where staff listened to music and got their creative juices flowing creating art with Joni Shani from Art2Heart, and guided meditation sessions delivered by Ashtanga Yogi expert Natasha Jolob.
Our Executive Assistant Denise Bradshaw commented on the meditation session:
“It was absolutely brilliant! I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was totally absorbed in the whole experience. I can’t describe how it made me feel after the session, but I would definitely recommend and will do it again.”
Week 4 – Men’s & Woman’s health
The fourth and final week of the Society’s wellness month saw Men’s and Women’s health take centre stage.
Many of the Society’s male colleagues joined together for a frank and open conversation on men’s health and we were joined by women’s health and hormones expert Sam Hadadi and Anne Marie Taylor from Breast Cancer Care who spoke about women’s hormones and breast cancer awareness.
IS Business Analyst, Tom Godsmark, spoke about the men’s health session:
“It was great that people felt able to show vulnerability and speak openly about their experiences with their own health. It is reassuring to me that we have these safe spaces to be able to do this.”
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