Staff Wellbeing Week 2019
Thames Reach held its first Staff Wellbeing Week across all projects and services
During the week 9-13 September, Thames Reach organised its first Staff Wellbeing Week. Kick-started by a group of members of staff across different services, a survey went out to all staff about which activities they would like to see to improve their wellbeing.
Coordinated across our London sites, final activities were: yoga, meditation, aromatherapy oil workshop, Indian head massage, neck massage, zumba, tai-chi, Special Effects decorating, dog therapy, kinetic therapy and a treasure hunt.
Georgi took part in the Special Effects workshop, in which participants learned new skills in decorative painting with our in-house expert and tutor of MIMO, Rob. Georgi said:
“I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the class, but I’m always interested in what the MIMO teams are doing, and I was keen to try it out for myself. I really enjoyed working with the paint, experimenting with different tools and creating a piece of work that makes me look far better at painting than I actually am (thanks to lots of help from Rob!) We learnt to use a stippler and create a wood grain effect using a rolling tool. My favourite technique was rag-rolling which involves applying a thick layer of paint and then using a piece of cloth to remove some of the paint, creating a marbled effect. Rob explained that this is a great technique to use for feature walls, and I’ve just moved house so I’m sure it will come in handy.
“The painting itself was really relaxing, as I was able to concentrate on working with my hands and take a break from thinking about emails, to-do lists and everything else. It was really satisfying to feel like I’d created a piece of art that I can take home with me, and doing something creative always makes me feel really positive. We were able to chat and enjoy a cup of tea while learning something new, and I think we all left the session feeling calm and happy, and with a few new painting skills!”
Sarah took part in Meditation with external company Inner Space. She had never done meditation before but had read about its benefits:
“Before coming to the class I was expecting to get an idea of the basics of mediation; I’d never done it before so I was very interested to experience it. I enjoyed learning how to meditate and what it takes. The trainer from Inner Space was amazing in the way she taught the best way to access meditation. I learned how to meditate and why it is good for people; it was also important to understand why some people struggle with it. I felt very relaxed afterwards to the point that my muscles had relaxed in my head and neck; I could feel my mind was not running away with me like it usually does and I think it is very important to switch off. Since the session, I have downloaded apps on how to mediate and have been using them every other day.”
Romoke went to the aromatherapy oil workshop held at the Employment Academy:
“The Aromatherapy class was fantastic – it has enhanced my knowledge of what different oils can do, as well as the benefits of various aromas. The class was interactive and it was nice to mix our own preferred aromas into the bath salt. My mix is lovely to unwind with after a tiring jog.
“Since the session I’ve bought a few aromas and have been dropping some Lavender on my pillow, it’s definitely making my home smell nicer and calms everyone down.”
Dominika took time out of her working day to meet the dogs brought to the office by Cuddle Club:
“The visit from Cuddle Club was definitely a highlight of the day for my colleagues and me. We work with homeless clients, who often have multiple and complex needs, and while this line of work is extremely rewarding, it can be very stressful – we all want what is best for our clients and frequently go out of our way in helping them achieve some sort of stability.
The three dogs I met were adorable and really friendly, letting me relax completely and simply enjoy their company – there were kisses and hugs and plenty of exposed bellies to scratch, like a fluffy heaven!
I would honestly love to have them visit on a regular basis – my colleagues were leaving the room smiling and happy, and so did I.”
The week ended with a Lunch Social on Friday 13th where everyone took a break to socialise together and chat about different activities from the week. Feedback has been incredibly positive, and teams are discussing how to keep the momentum going throughout the year.