Lancashire wildlife helps cure workplace woes

7 February 2019

Businesses need to go wild to help their employees cope with stress and other mental health issues.

The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside is offering Wild Wellbeing Days to companies and organisations through its Myplace project, which is already supporting people across Lancashire to improve their wellbeing.

A recent report stated that three out of every five employees will experience mental health issues because of work at some point in their career.

Myplace Co-ordinator Rhoda Wilkinson said: “No matter the size of your business, stress and poor mental wellbeing can have an impact. Our Wellbeing is an integral part of how well we interact with colleagues, customers and clients, how well we perform and how we feel about our jobs.

“With absenteeism and presenteeism being huge problems in today’s fast-paced workplace, there’s significant evidence that contact with nature reduces stress, improves self-esteem and increases resilience.”

Lancashire Wildlife Trusts wellbeing team, Myplace have now extended their delivery to offer Wild Wellbeing days for businesses to enable them to better support their staff in increasingly challenging times. This none clinical but therapeutic offer means that employees can access support, boost confidence and self-esteem, break from offices and technology, and develop skills to continue to practice the 5 ways to wellbeing in their day to day lives. Ecotherapy for employees is a great way to improve mental and physical wellbeing by connecting with nature..

The pioneering partnership project, with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, aims to specifically improve the wellbeing of all participants. Key themes will be practical conservation activities, wildlife walks, mindfulness, food growing projects and bushcraft.

One of the major companies which have already taken advantage of the Wild Wellbeing days, the Siemens Partnership, reported in a survey of its participating staff that 80 percent felt they had an increase in their overall wellbeing after their wild wellbeing day with The Wildlife Trusts. They said 63 per cent felt closer to their colleagues and 100 percent said they felt more positive.

A Siemens employee said: “It was really great spending time away from the office and bonding with colleagues I rarely see. The wellbeing session was a brilliant way to forget about work for a few hours, laughing and not talking about work. Seeing my team happy and relaxed gave me a great sense of achievement.”

Rhoda said: “The Wildlife Trust has always offered Welly Workout days for businesses, who send their staff to our reserves to give them some fresh air and exercise while improving their environment, and continues to do so. Wild Wellbeing Days are specifically tailored for small groups seeking to improve staff wellbeing. A person-centred approach allows us to provide a gentle but engaging way of beginning to reconnect people with nature, and to experience and understand the value of doing this. Techniques and tips to take away help employees develop a sustainable way to maintain and improve their wellbeing on their return.

“The Wildlife Trust will benefit by getting help with vital nature conservation work and inviting people to our reserves, which, hopefully, they will continue to visit and enjoy the benefits of for years to come.”

The Wild Wellbeing Days are held at Brockholes nature reserve, with catering and refreshment packages. Conference facilities at the reserve are also popular for businesses.

For more details visit www.lancswt.org.uk/workplace-wellbeing. Email wellbeing@lancswt.org.uk or call 01772 324129.

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