…but how do we do this successfully without it becoming just another box-ticking exercise?
At The Calico Group, our wellbeing team are consistently keeping things fresh with initiatives based around four core areas; Move More, Money Matters, Maturing Well and Mental Health.
The sectors in which we work, such as homelessness, addiction and domestic abuse, can be stressful and we must remember that we are all human; our colleagues need to feel looked after and valued in order to perform well in their demanding roles.
Calico Come Dancing
We plan activities all year round and arrange one major wellbeing initiative per year to bring the group together.
Last year, we saw sixty people brave the elements for the Three Peaks Challenge. This year, we brought back the popular Calico Come Dancing.
Couples from across The Calico Group embarked on professional dance lessons, ready to perform in front of 600 loved ones and colleagues in the iconic Blackpool Tower Ballroom.
We’ve found that it encourages people to get exercising in a way that doesn’t feel like hard work. It’s also helped colleagues make meaningful connections with others that they may otherwise have not interacted with.
Eighteen couples danced, celebrating the vast levels of diversity across our group; a same-sex couple, wheelchair user and a Syrian refugee who was initially supported by our services and has gone on to gain employment within the group, all took part.
Mental Health First Aiders
We have 14 Mental Health First Aiders; this matches the amount of ‘physical’ First Aiders as we believe that mental health is as important as physical health.
Alongside holistic therapies, we encourage colleagues to openly discuss mental health within the workplace, creating a safe, transparent and, most importantly, shame-free environment for those who need it.
In 2019, we saw an increase in referrals to our counselling service, where colleagues can access six sessions during works time, and a decrease in mental health related absences.
This Is Me
Our ‘This is Me’ groups were formed to support and champion inclusivity, such as LGBTQI+, BAME and Youth within the company, using their own lived experiences to help influence our culture, policies and procedures.
We take part in diverse community initiatives such as Pride and the Mela.
We were recently named on the Top 50 Most Inclusive Employers UK list which is a testament to the work we do every day.
This is a snippet of how we think differently about supporting our colleagues with their holistic health needs to create a happy, safe and productive workplace for everyone.