By Stacey Chambers - Project Manager
For many years CFF have been supporting young people and families to manage their mental health and wellbeing. However, supporting the wellbeing and mental health of its staff and volunteers is also hugely important to CFF.
Over the years, I’ve seen (and eaten – yummy) many homemade cakes at meetings, samosas on a Wednesday, lunch dates all together, free pastries, arts and macramé making sessions open to all employees. All of which have been great! CFF now have a Wellbeing policy and budget that supports its staffs mental health and wellbeing. We conducted staff surveys to see how our staff are feeling and whether or not everyone felt supported as a CFF employee.
These surveys, and chats in supervisions etc. have helped CFF recognise the areas that we need to focus on and what we can do to improve and monitor staff wellbeing.
This year I was happy to join the staff wellbeing subcommittee and we have organised a range of different staff wellbeing activities, that all staff and volunteers are free to take part in. We have already taken part in a ‘Laughter Yoga’ workshop, which was great to get you feeling good (well after the initial awkwardness of just laughing for no reason). I felt great after that session and it gave me a real boost! We have organised a picnic in the park in August, reflexology session in September, Mosaic making in November and have decided to close again over the Christmas period, so we can all spend some extra precious time with family and friends.
As a small core team we have been working on streamlining our systems and processes, making it easier and quicker to do things. We are focusing on how we communicate as a team, looking at workload pressures and making sure staff are not feeling overwhelmed and/or overworked. As things get busier, we recognise the need to recruit more sessional staff as well as someone else within the core team. These additional recruitments will help ease the pressure on other staff. CFF encourage its staff to take back TOIL (time off in lieu) which allows staff to have more time for themselves. As lockdown restrictions finally lift, CFF recognise that this affects its employees differently. After completing one to ones with staff, CFF will be adapting to a more hybrid way of working. With some employees keen to return to the office daily, some choosing to go back into the office on occasions and some preferring to work from home. This new way of working will allow employees to feel they can work comfortably and safely moving forward.
Staff wellbeing and mental health is important, we have made a lot of progress but we could always do more! We are lucky enough to have a CEO and Service Director who are both always willing to listen. Our Board of Directors are keen for staff wellbeing to be a priority and to keep wellbeing on meeting agendas.
The pandemic has made CFF look at how we can work and support employees differently. If we don’t look after ourselves, how can we possibly help and support our service users. We all need to do our bit to help and support the wellbeing of each other, keep communicating about our mental health and look after ourselves. So catch up with a colleague over a bucket of coffee and let’s keep talking.
A happy workforce and a healthy work environment results in a business that can thrive!So who’s up for a visit to costa?!