Loneliness – a crippling feeling that can ruin lives

We’ve all been lonely at some time in our lives and know the fear, isolation and hopeless feelings experienced by it.  It doesn’t matter whether we have people around us or not loneliness can creep in at any point.

 

For people who live alone or in difficult environments, loneliness can be amplified and feel very palpable.

 

I stumbled across Wavelength, a great charity in Hornchurch, Essex which has tackled loneliness for over 80 years.  Starting by giving radios to people isolated by the World War through the decades evolving to include tvs, iPads and computers to all those in need from refugees, those leaving prison, young people, adults and families anyone already experiencing difficulty in their lives without the added burden of loneliness.

 

Their research of how people felt before contact with Wavelength and how they felt afterwards shows the massive impact they make.  Working with ONS in the UK tracks the impact of loneliness and the cost in human and family lives as well as business, communities and the health service.

 

Wavelength reminded me of an interview with the inventor Trevor Bayliss who invented, amongst other things, a robust wind-up radio to be used in global, remote villages which not only tackled loneliness but also delivered information and healthcare.

 

The simplest ideas are often the most effective and enduring.

 

Long may WaveLength continue its excellent work.

 

If you know anyone who is lonely and would benefit from WaveLength’s support, don’t hesitate to signpost them Twitter @WaveLengthHelp or website: http://www.wavelength.org.uk

Lon

Ready, set …….almost go!

Checklist!  The following is ready to go for tomorrow’s 17th Employer Speed Dating Session at Southwark Cathedral!

 

  • Employer Table names
  • Register of wannabe Growing Talent Associates
  • Profile summary sheet from employers
  • Ice breaker questions

 

With 22 talented applicants expected, it should be an amazing day!

 

Thanks to Matthew Bowden for the inspiring feature photo from http://www.freeimages.com –  it aptly shows the bright new future awaiting the selected Growing Talent Associates……….

International Women’s Day – what does it mean to you?

To me it’s a time to respect those women who everyday work hard to deliver real change to benefit others.  If can be someone locally running a drop in club for new mothers – who are naturally terrified of the responsibility  – to people like Helen Taylor Thompson – 93yrs young who was a spy in WWII, set up the first AIDS hospice in Europe and now works in using technology in the treatment of AIDS patients.

 

No matter how small their impact is on our lives, for me, it’s about telling them!

 

I am honoured to work with some amazing people on Growing Talent (www.growing-talent.co.uk).  Today I received an email from one of them who was on the programme over 2 years ago to thank me for my support.  I’m still buzzing!

 

Happy international women’s day!! Thanks for encouraging me to seek counselling and stay strong, it’s what got me through a lot and still keeps me going. Had to thank you once again in light of today as it’s what inspires me to stay strong so I can encourage other women one day.’

 

Why not use this auspicious day to tell those women who inspire you, about the impact they have had on you.  You’ll make their day and give solid meaning to #IWD2018!

‘Sacrifice People to save numbers’

I came across this quote whilst reading work by Simon Sinek – the renowned motivational speaker – check him out on YouTube.

 

We’ve all seen companies downsize their staff in turbulent financial times with no thought about the impact on those individuals, their families nor the overall drop in moral on the staff they keep.

 

Even when there isn’t a financial downturn, companies will often shred staff to reduce their payroll bill and thus increase their profits – more palatable for the shareholders – or is it?

 

I worked for a company for over 12 years.  Just before the financial reporting, a round of redundancies would be announced to ensure the company retained it’s double digit growth.  In reality, they haven’t grown at all.  All they had done was culled their staff.

 

Simon’s point was what would happen if companies did the reverse? ‘Sacrificed the numbers to save the people’ – what a thought.  The example he gave was of Bob Chapman Chair of Barry-Wehmiller in USA.  This company was a £1bn plus turnover and made big machinery.  In the 2008 financial crash he decided to ‘sacrifice the numbers to save the people’.   With 30% written of the company’s value in one fail swoop – it was time to try something new.

 

He suggested everyone – from himself downwards, would take four weeks unpaid holiday.  They didn’t have to take it consecutively and they could take it when they wanted but everyone would keep their jobs.  The response was huge.  Those senior people who could afford to take more unpaid leave traded with those that couldn’t.  Everyone worked as a family, pulling together.  They were involved in the decision, given the support to do it and felt safe and happy.  The company prospered.  It enjoys 20% year on year growth compared with the average 6%.

 

When you believe in why you are doing something, everything else falls into place.  People support you because they believe in the same thing.

 

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if all companies ‘Sacrificed the numbers for the people’?

 

How much more would their profits grow?  What do you think?

Businesses – want to multiple your profits by 3?

The link below – which you’ll need to cut and paste into your browser – features some interesting research from Soma Analytics.

 

HRH Prince Harry asked in a radio broadcast what affect mental health had on business. The financial cost has been well known for years as has the human cost on individuals, colleagues, families, line management etc.

 

Soma Analytics research showed  two out of three UK large businesses do not publish their mental health strategy and support for their staff in their Annual Reports.  More startling was businesses that did publish this information saw their profits increase by three times!

 

It’s well known if you look after your staff, your staff will look after your customers and business with grow and profits increase.  So why is business so reluctant to publish what they do in their Annual Reports?

 

There is no health without good mental health…….

 

Check out the feature for yourself.  What do you think?

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42512723

 

 

Shocking staff treatment…….

It amazes me – a major name in business promotes it’s key charity – which runs through a supplier – helping homeless people whilst having a commercial yet loss making arm and immediately I thought – that’s great, making a difference to people and not worried about profits – refreshing.

 

Having spoke to someone who worked there until recently, I’m astounded at their treatment and the apparent blindness of the business in the working practices of their supplier.  There is a complete risk to brand reputation and clearly no due diligence nor operational monitoring.

 

This individual had raised several times to management the stress and pressure the team were experiencing due to the heavy workload.  The management ignored all concerns.  They raised further concerns on a lack of training again they were ignored.  They then raised the fact that despite working 1.5 hours extra every morning and 6 hours extra every Friday, the workload could not be completed.  The additional hours worked were unpaid and time off in lieu not allowed.

 

The individual was then told to leave the premises.  They would be given two weeks money and that will be it but they weren’t being sacked.  Nothing in writing.  No due process.

 

Exploitation, whistleblowing – just two unsavoury thoughts that sprang to my mind and will do every time I see the brands of the supplier and their business client.

 

It’s taught me to take everything at face value.  Great works in the community aren’t always as great as they may seem.

 

Shameful.

Life skills from the Navy Seals…..

Admiral William H McRaven gave an insightful life lessen in a graduation speech in 2014.  Key points came from his basic seal training back in 1977 and is highly relevant today……..  You can track down the film on You Tube…

If you want to change the world – or just your part in it:

Start with making your bed.  what was the point of daily bed inspections?  To set the bar.  If you can’t do the little stuff – you’ll never do the big stuff. It sets a positive note for the day – you’ve completed your first task!  If nothing else, you’ll come home to a well made bed!

Learn how to paddle! A boat will only travel efficiently if everyone works together.  Know when to ask for help. The ‘munchkins’ where the best paddle team.  From different backgrounds, different statues, all had heart, worked together and won the challenge.

Get over being a cookie – for failed uniform inspection, seals had to go in the water then roll in the sand – called ‘cookie’.  They then stayed in this all day.  Many couldn’t take this constant failure and dropped out.  They missed the lesson of failure.  You have to keep going.

 

Embrace the circus: for failing a physical challenge, a Seal had to do two extra hours.  Embrace it, it builds stamina.  The lesson is you will fail and sometime fail often but keep going, it builds stamina and resilience.

 

Go head first – sometimes you have to do things a different way and dive in.

 

Face down the bullies – Seals are trained to stand their ground when swimming in shark infested waters.  If a shark circles – punch it hard on the snout – it will swim away.

 

Be the best you can – especially in the darkest moment.

When you’re up to your neck in mud – start singing! – The power of hope.  It takes just one person and spreads quickly.  Think of Washington, Lincoln, King, Mahala

 

Don’t ever ring the bell!  In Seal training, there is a brass bell which people ring  to give up.  Never give-up.  Keep going you will succeed.

 

“Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up — if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.”

“It matters not your gender, your ethnic or religious background, your orientation, or your social status. Our struggles in this world are similar and the lessons to overcome those struggles and to move forward—changing ourselves and the world around us—will apply equally to all.”

“Changing the world can happen anywhere and anyone can do it.”

Some great lessons for us all………..

The ‘Internal Supervisor’……

I heard this term for the first time on the ASIST 2 day workshop in Brighton.  A fellow delegate was a psychotherapist and used it to explain a technique used professionally.

 

When speaking with a client, she uses her ‘Internal Supervisor’ to highlight the occasions to dig deeper.  If she found herself getting bored, was her client getting monotone and repetitive.  Often people do this when they are trying to avoid the real issue.  As she explained this, I realised we all have an ‘Internal Supervisor’ or ‘gut instinct’.

 

I must admit, I had never questioned my moods when listening to someone else but I will from now on.  It’s a logical tool to use in supporting people to ensure we dig deep enough to get the entire story out.

 

Are you intone with your ‘Internal Supervisor’?

Shennell – what an inspiration……

An elated Shennell sent me the feature photo of her graduation on 21 November 2017.  The smile says it all.

 

I first met Shennell on Growing Talent 5 over two years ago.  She had left university due to peer pressure, amongst other things, just one term short of completing.

 

Her self-esteem was low and she couldn’t see which direction to go in.  Gradually her confidence began to Grow through the workshops, mentoring and positive peer/employer support.  She completed Growing Talent and joined Iron Mountain a document management organisation.  After a few months she applied for and secured a front of house role with Portico.

 

Completing her degree was always in the background.  Eventually she chose to leave Portico to return to uni – but life doesn’t always go to plan.  She worked for various organisations and looked at some training in marketing before finally returning to uni this year.

 

Shennell is an amazing role model for never giving up.  I am so proud of her achievements and look forward to the next chapter………..

 

Go Shennell!

What an honour!

Running Growing Talent, it’s my responsibility and privilege to mentor and support vulnerable people to successfully complete and secure the permanent job on offer – literally changing their lives.

 

Like most things we experience vulnerability is on a scale.  People on Growing Talent come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some will be very vulnerable others not so.

 

This support doesn’t end with the programme.  I continue to mentor and support long after the programme has finished.

 

It’s been a difficult few months for one graduate of the programme from seven programmes ago.  Still employed and doing well at work but experiencing some personal issues.  A pendulum of events and emotions over the past few months will continue a while longer.  I have no doubt the person concerned will conquer this period and be a much more empathetic force.

 

I am very proud to have received this award and know that I do make a difference.

 

We should follow Action for Happiness’s view on automatic living.  We bundle through live without actually living it.  Taking a breath to take in our surroundings and live in the moment is so key to our wellbeing and strength.  I personally believe affirmation every day and a reflective period on what we have done well at the end of each day boosts out self-esteem and positivity.

 

I’ll look at my award every now and then to remind myself I do make a difference and do a good job.  Why don’t you try it and see how your self-esteem increases?

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