Staff Wellbeing at Red Balloon
Red Balloon prioritises its staff’s wellbeing as well as its students’.
Red Balloon of the Air has a Staff Wellbeing Group with 8 members of staff from across the organisation, a dedicated staff wellbeing intranet page (full of resources), EAP available for all staff, and two qualified counsellors who offer Staff Support sessions when needed. All staff have access to regular supervision as well.
Additionally, we have weekly yoga sessions available for staff, Spotlight On leaflets produced each half term (areas covered so far include menopause/andropause; meditation; self-care; dyslexia) and we are hoping to start other activities (such as a book club/film club) in the Autumn Term.
The Staff Wellbeing Group invites all staff members to participate in a wellbeing questionnaire once a year to gauge wellbeing in the workplace. They work with the senior leadership team to find solutions to any issues that might arise.
You might like to see a recent challenge that Natalie set Helen (two counsellors who offer Staff Support), which they then invited all staff to have a go at …
Helen’s challenge was to find 5 new activities to try and then report back to Natalie exactly a week later with details on what she was going to do, and when.
It would be fair to say that Helen found the idea of finding 5 new activities quite tricky but once the ideas started flowing, they were hard to stop! Helen chose the following:
- Visit the David Parr house in Cambridge
- Try Reiki
- Learn how to machine a zip into a cushion (Helen had to first remember how to thread the machine!)
- Go to the theatre on her own
- Grow tomatoes
This kickstarted Helen’s creativity and she went on to add a few more to the list as she:
- Knitted a gift for a relative
- Tried meditation
- Painted a picture for our RBA Art Auction
- Grew herbs
- Is learning a new language
Helen found the challenge exciting and rewarding – and both she and Natalie then invited all staff to have a go. You too could have a go too … you just need to meet a buddy and then again one week later. You don’t need to have done your activities by your second meeting – just be able to say what you intend to do and when.
Helen says, ‘Sometimes when you feel stuck, you just need to start moving. Therapeutically, these activities provided a sense of capability, connection and creativity, all of which contribute towards courage’.
These are just some of the things that Red Balloon of the Air are doing for staff wellbeing!