We all know the importance of feeling happy and healthy both in body and mind, and many businesses continue to recognise the impact of health and wellbeing in the workplace on its human resources.
St Ann’s Hospice is a place of care and support for patients, families and carers through difficult times, but it also has a network to support its staff. Whether it be dealing with a patient or story that has had an emotional effect, or a financial issue at home that’s causing anxiety, the hospice provides an Employee Assistance Programme where staff are able to access counselling via phone and online 24/7, and face-to-face counselling sessions.
Along with patients and families, staff are also able to join monthly creative relaxation sessions and access to expert advisors trained by Citizens Advice.
We also have a quarterly ‘Involve meeting’ – a channel for communication and consultation for colleagues to discuss key area such as workplace culture, staff development, recognition and sustainability for the future at St Ann’s.
I always felt like I was quite a confident person when it came to dealing with emotional and difficult situations in the workplace, I have worked and volunteered for a variety of charities where I have been quite upset but felt with time and experience, I had become used to this and learnt ways of dealing with my emotions. However, when I started working for St Ann’s Hospice I was surprised how upset I felt. We work in a wonderful place, where we regularly come across patients and families – whether they are coming in to make a donation after losing a loved one, seeing a family in the coffee shop or hearing stories from our amazing fundraisers and volunteers. I feel privileged that I am able to witness first-hand the amazing work our hospice does and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
However, it has been tough at times. I learnt straight away though that the hospice provides fantastic care and support for staff. One day in particular when I had spoken with a patient’s family member that had come into the hospice to make a donation, I felt incredibly overwhelmed by their story which was heart-breaking. I called into our bereavement team office and one of the counsellors spent 40 minutes with me, listening to why I felt upset and offered me advice and support on how I deal with this going forward. We have access to a Care First which is a 24-hour support line (phone and email), and as a fundraising team, we ensure we take time to look out for each other. Lucy, Fundraising Manager
What have you found effective in your workplace that’s contributed positively towards your own health and wellbeing?