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This month’s update is all about good health and wellbeing!

Hello and welcome to your latest Here sustainability work update.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals, which are a collection of 17 global goals adopted by all United Nations Member States, are designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and  more sustainable future for all.” Every month we will share Here’s progress on one of these goals.

Last month we were focused on Goal 3 “Good health and well-being”.


Let’s look at how many vegan lunches Here has provided.

We started offering free vegan lunches by Tom in October 2021, to help with wellbeing and ease the cost of living for our employees. You can see below how this has grown!

In April 2023, we increased the frequency of the lunches to two per week. The chart excludes all the lunches that we offered at Wellness Weeks, Big Wellness Weeks/Weekends, MKS conferences and Big Conversations, which would add another 216 to 2022’s figures and 390 to 2023.

What else have we done to promote good health and wellbeing?

We have a Wellness Group consisting of cross-organisational people who guide wellness information and activities for our company.

We role model and promote a healthy culture within the workplace and create positive working environments where individuals can feel they belong. On January 15th, we held Brew Monday to check in with colleagues and raised £122 for Samaritans.

For our employees: 

  • Free office refreshments including plant based milks and herbal teas, a healthy cereal breakfast bar, a variety of fresh fruits…. and some feel good biscuits! Here spent £13k on staff refreshments in 23/24 compared to £10k the year before.
  • In 2023, we had 209 Hoopla nominations for staff. 30% of our staff regularly attend Hoopla. 17 people received a Long Service Awards, 30 different people received a nomination for the new Here Purpose awards with 2 winners, voted by peers, one for ‘Exceptional care’ and one for ‘For Everyone’ each receiving £50 voucher. Hoopla winners are commended and highlighted each month on social media.
  • Weekly yoga class for all levels are available to staff. This includes mindful movement, breathing practices and relaxation to help release stress and tension from the body and mind and regulate the nervous system whilst improving mobility, flexibility and strength. 15 people have been attending in recent months.
  • Lunchtime mindfulness sessions twice a week.
  • Mentoring conversations aim to improve skills or performance, to help realise individuals’ potential and personal ambitions for the future. There are currently 18 mentor pairings actively learning and supporting development across the organisation. If you’d like to find out more, please reach out to Fern.

Reverse Mentoring pairs mentors from minority backgrounds with leaders and management within the organisation to share experiences, express alternative viewpoints and enable expression of underrepresented voices. There are facilitated group sessions to share learning, experiences and action points. We have 6 reverse mentor pairings in our pilot group.

  • We have delivered 7 solution focussed coaching training sessions and 67 colleagues have attended so far! Over 1/3 of our organisation.
  • Pirate Daves, our annual personal learning and development review process. We are aiming for everyone to have a recent and high-quality review with a target for 80% completion at the end of March (currently 68%).
  • The 177 office is opposite a park and we encourage getting outside for walking meetings, particularly as we approach summer months. Our 4th floor front space  has table tennis, a Meadow Room and lunch area and balcony with bench tables & seating.
  • We hold an annual Do Sweat It week to encourage everyone to be more active. We are due to hold Here Sweat It week in May in tandem with Mental Health Awareness week.
  • Here is Learning is entering its 3rd year! We have spotlighted 21 different topics. Sessions have ranged from inclusion, to leadership, quality, governance and finance and we have leant into expertise internally and externally. A wealth of resources are available in the Here All Staff Team – Here is Learning.
  • Our free Employee Assistance Programme has helped 10 colleagues anonymously access help in the last 6 months.
  • We have installed several standing desks across the office this year.
  • In the annual survey, we asked you about flexible working: “I am satisfied with the opportunities for flexible working patterns”, which scored 90% on 2023 and 2022.
  • 12 dogs and a chick brought their owners into the office this year bringing a lot of joy to people.

  • We now offer free period products in our toilets.
  • There is a focus group to discuss feasibility of introducing gender neutral toilets and general refresh of existing facilities.

For our patients:

We have sold over 700 Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine training (PLM) licenses to clinicians since the launch and we have just co-hosted our second PLM conference with over 200 clinicians to help train them how to treat patients holistically in consultations.

  • The MSK Community Appointment Days have enabled us to better support the health and wellbeing of patients, non-patients, and staff by taking us out of our traditional medicalised setting and encouraging engagement with health checks & local community support/health services. We held 6 events in 2023, and 1,424 people attended.
  • First Contact Practitioners make our MSK service more accessible. SMSKP clinicians are based in GP surgeries which helps bring them closer to patients for their convenience.  We have 38 clinicians working across 52 different GP surgeries delivering 371 hours of care each week.
  • Our Stroke Service in 23/24 worked with other partners to explore how best to deliver the transformation of personalised support to stroke survivors and carers of in our community.

For our wider community: 

  • Menopause@Work is run by Here and Brighton and Hove City Council. A government-funded project that aims to provide free support, education, resources and shared learning for individuals experiencing menopause symptoms at work (or wanting to get back into work), and business owners/managers supporting those individuals. Only 11% of workplaces in Brighton & Hove feel they are well equipped to support staff or colleagues with the menopause experience at work (survey Mar 2023). Supporting health and wellbeing in the workplace will not only reduce the impact of the most common menopause symptoms for individuals but will also reduce recruitment costs and retain skills and knowledge for the workplace itself. The Menopause at Work website and workshops provide FREE tools, resources, a certificated course and education to support simple changes in the workplace to promote a menopause -friendly environment. Click here to see our short animation.
  • Our COVID vax programme delivered 358,623 vaccinations from inception to end in our community.
  • Peer Support Groups for patients in MAS and Stroke service.

What do we plan to do?

Wellness Group meet regularly. There are 10 Wellness champions from across the organisation. The group would love to hear new ideas and suggestions which you can add on the Wellness Teams channel at Here all staff | Wellness | Microsoft Teams.

We know that volunteering promotes wellbeing in the person volunteering their time. Here’s policies already promotes the use of up to 3 extra days holiday to allow employees to commit to voluntary official posts in our community such as school governor and magistrate. We want to explore this further to find out what everyone is already doing and where else we could use our time to volunteer to help our community.

What health and wellness campaign days are happening this month?  

March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, but there were also several other key dates this month:

11-17 March Nutrition and Hydration Week

13 March National No Smoking Day

15 March World Sleep Day

20 March World Oral Health Day

Are we supporting any suppliers who are doing good in this area?

One example of screening our supplier choice by having positive conversations with our suppliers is us choosing Green Mop as our cleaning company for the main office.

We not only chose them for their green credentials and because they are local, but we continue to work with them because they are also a Real Living Wage employer.

Last year they discussed with us how they needed to increase their price in order to be able to afford to pay their employees the Real Living Wage.

Capsticks, one of the legal firms we use, are also registered as Real Living Wage payer and has a Carbon Reduction Plan.

What can we do at home to promote good health and wellbeing? 

  • Sleep plays a large part in our wellbeing, and last March Here co-hosted a Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine Conference all about one of the four pillars of its teachings: sleep. Here is a link to the presentations at that conference with two particularly good sessions on understanding sleep better:
  • At 29m in the webinar: Professor Russell Foster talks about the science behind our body clock and how understanding it can revolutionise sleep;
  • At 1 hr 32m in the webinar: Dr Stephanie Romiszweski gives some really brilliant new practical advice in her session “How to be awake” discussing the power of light, time and how our own behaviour can protect sleep.
  • Multiple research studies have found that plants have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing. Plants can help to make your workspace feel more homely, and they can also boost your productivity. Even more importantly, they are linked to decreased stress levels, improved mood and greater attention span.
  • Working from home can find big health benefits…but there is a lot of other factors to consider as this recent article explains.
  • The Healthy Mind Platter illustrates the seven essential daily activities to keep our brain functioning at its best.
  • The app Headspace offers everyday mindfulness for everyone. Stress less, sleep soundly, and be more resilient. You can access Headspace for free by signing up using you NHS email address. Headspace for NHS
  • Sign up to donate blood via the NHS donation process here. Similarly, organ donation can be opted for on this NHS website link

Awareness of charities in this space

Local charities to highlight to everyone that are doing great things in this area are:

Read about sustainability goal No.10: Reduced inequalities

Fern, Lesley, Martina, Tina and Joe – The Sustainability Team


tagged in health, inequalities, reduced inequalities, sustainability, sustainability goals, un sustainability goals, well-being

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