Certified Practitioners – Science of Well-being

The Science of Wellbeing Program is designed to help keep workforce wellbeing in check. It teaches a wide range of techniques and practices in four key areas: mental, physical, social and environmental. 

Built on the science of behaviour change and healthy habit formation, this program will reduce stress, and increase productivity and engagement. 

The objective of this program is that attendees will feel more confident and capable, boost relationships with others, increase physical vitality, their sense of accomplishment and personal fulfilment in life. 

Delivered across four two hour sessions over two weeks, this course carries the option of a 180 EI Assessment. 

Contact me if you’d like to learn more.

Time to get disruptive?

For the last, almost 20 years, I’ve had the honour of working with people from all backgrounds, diverse businesses and charities to nurture people with barriers into work.

In addition to my employment work, I also deliver accredited mental health first aider courses and proactive wellbeing courses.

I’ve been commissioned to design a variety of workshops from self and team empowerment to finding your purpose, managing fears, building resilience, identifying and creating your future path, elevator pitch, your personal branding and many more.

Throughout, I’ve used the thread of inclusivity, respect and humour to give ownership to delegates on their learning journey.

This week, I’ve dropped into various workshops on the Playful Creative Summit. Some speakers have been more inspiring than others. I’ve learned something new everyday.

The summit runs until Friday this week. Many of the speakers videos are free. Take a look if you are interested – http://www.playfulcreativesummit.com.

I composed the image below to provoke employers to consider how vibrant their learning and development platforms are and how better they could be.

There is no reason why the same tool could not be used for our personal lives.

What do you think? Time for us all to become a little more disruptive in how we do things?

One of the speakers used the term ‘become more pirate’ explaining pirates were ordinary people who had to be resourceful to make a life for themselves and take on the might of the world’s navy’s. Of course some tales of pirates are unlawful but all are resourceful. So I might just think of myself as a ‘disruptive pirate’ in my training programmes now!

Happy Reese!

I’ve had a decade plus link to MHFAEngland from it’s early begins of just a handful of staff to the present day.  Gillian, MHFAEngland’s Business Manager and I go back way before this time to the days of the Real Apprentice (an employment programme I ran from 2004-2013).

 

Back in 2015 Gillian and the team at MHFAEngland selected Reese to join them on Growing Talent (www.growing-talent.co.uk) with the potential of an end permanent job in administration with them.

 

Reese had minimal employment experience at the time and pretty low self-belief so it was a really scary time for him.  He flourished and secured the permanent job and has been there since.  It felt good knowing he was processing the certificates of following Growing Talent Associates who completed the MHFA Adult 2 day course as part of their Growing Talent journey.

 

Yesterday, Gillian and I met up for a long overdue catch-up and she told me she had something from Reese – the feature photo.  So great to see him looking happy and confident – four years on.

 

Anyone can change where they are in life through self-belief, determination and support.

 

Orientation – the fun way!

After 5 years, 2019 saw the introduction of a sleek new format for Growing Talent.  Now 6 weeks long with, in exceptional circumstances, the ability to lengthen this to a max 12 weeks, it still has the two core elements essential to completing the Growing Talent journey – Orientation Week & Holistic Week.

 

The Orientation Week takes place after selection but prior to going on the employer’s site and training in the vacant role.  This is designed to build confidence, set challenges, raise self-esteem and of course building team work.

 

A new venue as well at Etc Venues in Eastcheap saw the additional of breakfast for all Growing Talent Associates each morning on the Orientation !

 

A selection of cereals, cold meats, cheese, pastries and of course a smoothie corner!

 

The coffee centre for cappuccino, lattes as well as teas was a welcome shot of caffeine during the week!

 

Monday saw Lesley – Head of H&S at PwC join us to deliver her invigorating 3Rs (Refresh, Renewal and Rejuvenate) workshop designed to enhance wellbeing.

 

Lesley shared her top tips on healthy choices, staying awake and energised as well as the amount of ingredients in a shop brought muffin (you really don’t want to know the answer!)

 

On Tuesday we were joined by Emma from Unravelling Minds who delivered not only her experience of intense workload causing her mental health issues but how she used art therapy as a recovery tool and now uses it as a solid wellbeing tool.

 

You could hear a pin drop as Emma set tasks for the guys to complete.  All agreed they were so much more relaxed after Emma’s workshop and would use the tools she’d given them during lunch breaks etc to stay mindful of their own wellbeing – a crucial attribute for us all.

 

Wednesday we focused on public speaking and presentations as well as discussing all ideas for the Social Enterprise challenge at the end of the week.  This comprises each Growing Talent Associate devising and delivering an idea to benefit a local community.  It must have a revenue stream and be ‘doable’.  This is delivered before a panel of managers from their employer sites who decide on the winner for the £50 cash prize!

 

Case studies, communication, skills gap analysis, conflict management, employment etiquette, challenges under the Equalities Act 2010, what if scenarios, networking tasks as well as how to do a good handshake made up middle of the week.

 

Jade from Customer Care First (CCF) joined us on Thursday to share knowledge of the intricacies of speaking, listening, annunciation, body language etc – communication is pretty tough to do right!

 

Jade above explaining the core elements of communication.

Estela, Joseph and Abraham above with Jade trying to list what conversations are ok to have with colleagues – not as easy as you might thing under the Equalities Act 2010 – challenges can be made by third parties who overhear what you say!

 

Empowered by the week and what they had achieved, we were ready for the Social Enterprise challenge.

 

Judges l-r Antonia – Portico, Jamie – Red Personnel, Adam – PwC, Julie – Portico, Ebb – Crown Plaza & Mark – PwC

 

The judges listened to six excellent ideas before deciding Jess’s ‘Wake up – to Make-up’ was the winner.

 

 Jess collecting her prize from Adam of PwC

 

To finish off, we had an excellent networking lunch.

 

So what did the guys think of the week?  Just a few comments below…..

 

‘The Orientation Week helps you gain confidence, learn about the work culture and polish our own skills.  It is a good way to prepare yourself for going into/back to work.  Growing Talent offers  high quality training.  It takes Associates seriously and acknowledges their talent.  I have never been on anything like this before.  I feel valued.’

 

‘The Orientation Week is so worth doing because it helps you build confidence for your workplace so you can be even better at what you do.’

 

‘I’m glad Growing Talent exists’

 

‘The Orientation Week enables you to transition into work more smoothly.  It gives you skills you can use as a head start in your role.  Fab – what an amazing opportunity!’

 

 

 

 

The Belfast Experience!

My first visit to Belfast – home of Titanic came on 26 July 2017 ready for delivering a MHFALite course the following day.

 

It was a ‘first’ for quiet a few things.  The first time I used the automatic bag drop – with a little help from the assistant!  A great idea but I wasn’t convinced until I saw my case role off the singular baggage carousel at George Best Belfast City Airport – phew, what a relief.

 

The next first was staying in a global brand hotel where the ‘exclusive’ experience I was expecting didn’t come to fruition.  The room was very dark with no central light.  Great if you want to work at the desk with the desk spotlight but not if, like me, preference is to sprawl on the bed with laptop, books, pens etc!  Stuffiness eventually prompted me to check out the air con – which was so noisy.  This was quickly turned off and the small window opened.  Unfortunately this overlooked the metro line and main road!  After deciding to have a cup of tea – I tried fishing the large hair out of the cup – it was a crack!  Unfortunately there were several guests who decided to have a late conversation in the corridor outside my room on the way back from the bar at midnight!!!  It seemed I’d only got to sleep when the alarm clock went off!  Good job I know how to manage stress from the training I deliver on Mental Health First Aid courses!  Breakfast was a vast improvement even if the placemat was stained!

 

MHFA Lite is a three hour course to raise awareness of mental health conditions.  It’s a light touch course.  With a room full of managers from this global financial client, what would their reaction be – did they learn anything?……

 

‘Learning that different conditions manifest themselves in different ways and how having a conversation can help highlight issues’.

‘Coping strategies to suggest to others and use myself.  I have a much better awareness of the different types of mental health problems and most importantly the scale we are all on.’

‘Being mindful of my own well-being.  There is so much help available – I hadn’t realised.  Being aware of changes in others’

‘Even though I’ve done these sort of workshops before, it refreshed and added to my knowledge’

‘Listening unconditionally and being aware of small changes’

‘I feel like I could listen and provide suitable signposting’

‘It’s important to always ask even if only a small change is noticed’

 

As an Instructor it’s always great to see the learning gained from the evaluations – part of which is about the Instructor’s delivery and knowledge!  So what were the thoughts on me….. I’m glad to say a full house of top scores!

 

‘Really really enjoyable course.  Not only excellent from a line manager’s perspective but also for my own personal experience – fantastic trainer’

 

‘Instructor was very informative with lots of examples’

 

‘Very confident Instructor who encouraged participation.  An enjoyable course, well delivered’.

 

‘A straight talking Instructor’

So overall………..

 

‘A very useful course, thank you!’

‘Excellent course – useful inside and outside work’.

 

For me, the last comment is the most important.  Mental Health affects us and those closest to us both at home and work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?

MHFA Lite – Introduction to Mental Health

This is a three-hour workshop comprising a foundation of knowledge on the area of Mental Health First Aid.

 

Key areas covered in this comprehensive course include:

 

  • Language & Stigma
  • What is Mental Health?
  • Some common Mental Health issues
  • Supporting people in distress
  • Personal wellbeing

 

The 17 delegates were from all levels of staff at a global professional services Firm based close to London Bridge.

 

Interaction flowed as knowledge was shared through the Graffiti Wall, Stress Container, personal experience films and colleague discussion.

 

It’s always a ‘wait with baited breath’ moment until the evaluation forms have been analysed to see how well the course and me, the instructor, were received……

 

Firstly a few thoughts on the course:

‘Amazing course, felt very emotional during the training.  Feeling more optimistic about how to approach mental health and well being’

‘A good course  which brought home the importance of caring for yourself whilst caring for others’

‘Fantastic training’

 

& The Instructor:

”Well delivered, good level of audience participation’

‘Clear and approachable, created a comfortable environment for questions’

‘Passionate & easy to follow’

Rated  very good (top mark) by 12 of the 17 and Good (second highest) by the remaining 5.

 

I look forward to the next course on 9 June 2017

 

Get in touch for more information on mental health & wellbeing training available…..

 

 

Recruit a different way………………..

As part of the preparation for my presentation to an employers forum later this month, I decided to do a comparison of the key stages and costs between Growing Talent and traditional recruitment.

 

As you can see from the table above, the results are clearly in favour of recruiting via Growing Talent.  Time and money is saved and matches made are sustainable.  None of the Associates who completed Growing Talent and moved into permanent employment has returned to benefits according to JobCentre Plus’s records.

 

There are multiple benefits including the orientation week, holistic week, employer selection and training before hiring, dedicated mentors, Mental Health First Aider, personal finance, fitness, nutrition training that traditional recruitment doesn’t offer.

 

All of this at zero cost to he hiring employer.

 

So why aren’t more employers recruiting using Growing Talent?

 

Any thoughts?

ENEI – Great News!

Heard last night that Growing Talent has been shortlisted for an ENEI (Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion) award in their Community Impact category.  Winners will be announced at the Law Society on 14 July 2015!

It’s strange to think when I wrote the entry back in March, 20 people had gone through Growing Talent and secured permanent jobs.  By the time the announcements come round, it will be 41!

It is a great encouragement to the employers who have been involved including Harrow Green, Iron Mountain, Pertemps, Aramark, Baxter Storey, Mitie, Portico, MHFA, Red Personnel, Sheridan Maine, Network Compucare, Honeywell, UpTownOil, JobCentre Plus’s management team and of course PwC to continue, grow and develop Growing Talent over the coming months and years.

Any awards won endorse the programme and encourage others to get involved.  Coupled with the online advertising on Daily Mail, Telegraph and Guardian websites through the month of June and the Evening Standard feature – which I’m now told will be published on 11 June – the word is definitely spreading!

The story in pictures………………

team

Comfort, Sophia, Holly & Jason – pilot

20140814_165445

Mikele, Jordan, Nirosana, Sholape, Anthony, Chris, Samick, James & Caroline – 2nd programme

Stairs 2 Latimer

Andy, Matt, Kavita, Mo, Madi, Ariane & David – 3rd programme

cropped group

Michael, Kit, Selwyn, Kaith, Daoud, Joshua, Sinead, Michell, Max, Jane, Courtney & Jess – 4th programme

Chris and the guys

Gavin, Chris (now a presenter!)Alenchenu, Jose, Bradley, Camilla, Shanika, Reese, Alex, Shennell, Jason & Reece – 5th programme