Author Archives: Dave Roscoe

Mental Health Awareness Week (18th to 24th May 2020) is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. It’s the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and inspire actions to promote the message of good mental health for everyone. The theme this year is kindness.

The changes we’re all experiencing during this current time will no doubt cause some levels of stress and/or anxiety. So, we are all having to work a little harder to look after our mental health and wellbeing. What things do you do to help?

Evidence suggests there are 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life.

CONNECT:

Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can:

  • help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth
  • give you an opportunity to share positive experiences
  • provide emotional support and allow you to support others

There are lots of things you could try to help build stronger and closer relationships like:

  1. try switching off the tv and chatting or playing a game with someone you love
  2. eat dinner with your family
  3. call a friend for a catch up

There are lots of new and exciting innovations which have helped make interaction easier as social distancing measures are in place such as video calling platforms and apps galore to help you keep in touch.

BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE

Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. Evidence also shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing by:

  • raising your self-esteem
  • helping you to set goals or challenges and achieve them
  • causing chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood

Staying physically active has become a little more difficult in recent weeks. But here are some ways you may like to try:

  1. make use of free online exercise classes (there’s even dance classes too!)
  2. utilise open green spaces in your local area (after all, the world is your gym!)
  3. cleaning and gardening are ways to work out without even knowing that you are exercising

KEEP LEARNING

Research shows that learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by:

  • boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem
  • helping you to build a sense of purpose
  • helping you to connect with others

Even if you feel like you do not have enough time, or you may not need to learn new things, there are lots of different ways to bring learning into your life. 

Some of the things you could try include:

  1. work on a DIY project 
  2. learn or practice a new recipe 
  3. try a new hobby that challenges you
  4. sign up for an online course

GIVE

Research suggests that acts of giving and kindness can help improve your mental wellbeing by:

  • creating positive feelings and a sense of reward
  • giving you a feeling of purpose and self-worth
  • helping you connect with other people
  • It could be small acts of kindness towards other people, or larger ones like volunteering in your local community.

Some examples of the things you could try include:

  1. saying thank you to someone for something they have done for you
  2. asking friends, family or colleagues how they are and really listening to their answer
  3. spending time with friends or relatives who need support or company
  4. offering to help someone you know with DIY project
  5. volunteering in your community

TAKE NOTICE (MINDFULNESS)

Paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you.

This awareness is sometimes called "mindfulness". Mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.

Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Get a plant for your workspace
  2. Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day
  3. Take notice of how the people around you are feeling or acting
  4. Take a different route on your walks

Remember, give kindness to yourself and others. 

For more information and for useful links and videos visit https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/.

The Winter term not only welcomes the frosty weather and the Christmas cheer but a whole host of opportunities for young people within our Mersey region. As well as welcoming into the new year brand new plans and ideas for the Foundation.  

What’s been happening?

October Event – Breakfast Information Session

 The Royal Albert Dock Charitable Foundation sent out an invitation inviting all the businesses around the Albert Dock to learn about what they do and how others can get involved with the Foundation. Listening to success stories from local business around Albert Dock, it allowed others to see how they could engage with the Foundation and what they could offer to support local young people. The event was supported by Clockwise; offering an amazing free venue space, and Gusto providing a complimentary breakfast to all those who came. The event was a great success and saw 42 people attend from various businesses around The Royal Albert Dock.

Jamie Griffin, Managing Director of Joint Rail Projects said: “I thought the event at Clockwise was very well organised, the hospitality was excellent, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening and learning from the various speakers within the Charity. Great morning all round.” 

A presentation was delivered showcasing some areas of work and to encourage new tenants to get involved within the Foundation.  A pledges sheet was given out asking how each business would like to get involved. The event sparked so much interest from new businesses wanting to take part; either engaging with educational/careers tours, student work placements or showing an interest in the ‘Intern to Work’ programme. Many new pledges were received including Maray, Rosa’s Thai and Smaller Earth.

 

Lauren and Roisin from the Smaller Earth team said: “The presentation outlining the work they have done so far blew us away, and we couldn't wait to get involved. We felt the passion and enthusiasm from everyone involved in the charitable foundation and we at Smaller Earth are now excited to be part of the story. To say that the breakfast morning sparked an incredible partnership is an understatement.”

Who are Smaller Earth?

 Smaller Earth are an organisation that send thousands of young people on work and travel programmes each year. Having 15 offices all around the world, Smaller Earth believe that by inspiring people to go further, they can change the world one person at a time, by providing programs that provide meaningful cultural experiences for young people. 

After the October event at Clockwise it was no surprise that Smaller Earth were so excited to get involved when they heard about the Royal Albert Dock Charitable Foundation. Follow up meetings were arranged, and ideas were shared about how Smaller Earth could get involved. The ‘Go Further, Give Back’ day was a perfect opportunity for young people from the intern to work programme to get involved. Each year Smaller Earth have a ‘Give Back Day’ in support of their ‘Go Further’ project working with charities from across the globe. On November 19th six interns from the ‘Intern to Work ‘programme had the opportunity to spend the day working with the UK Smaller Earth team situated on the Royal Albert Dock. 

The day consisted of three workshops to help develop a range of employability skills within the interns. By the end of the day they had produced a flyer which will promote the ‘Intern to Work’ programme at the Liverpool City Council event on 28th January next year.  

 Lauren, Marketing Coordinator at Smaller Earth said: “We are so glad that Smaller Earth had the opportunity to get involved in such an incredible initiative. We’re so glad we got the chance to positively impact them whilst helping to develop the ‘interns to work’ brand.”

     

The branding workshop allowed the interns to learn about the creative process of building a brand, looking at the importance of layouts and colours. They used these skills to build their own, which was then integrated into a leaflet that they made themselves. 

In the photography session they investigated the importance of photography and how a good photograph can speak a thousand words. Working with resident photographers from Smaller Earth, the interns looked at various photography styles learning new terms and doing a variety of real-life, professional scenarios, including headshots and presenting.  

In the last session, the team who regularly carry out interviews were able to share best communication practices with the interns. Communication is not only vital for every work environment; it is essential to our everyday lives. For most people job interviews can be a daunting experience, their something we may fear or perhaps never feel quite ready for, especially if you are young and have educational needs. It was a great session for the interns to get involved with, practising doing mock styles interviews with each other which not only allowed them to practise answering questions, but also think about what types of questions would be asked. The session was incredibly beneficial for the interns covering all the vital skills needed in a professional environment. 

“I learnt the most from doing the mock interviews. It’s given me more confidence and made me feel more prepared for when I’ll have to do interviews in the future.”

The entire day was extremely successful. Not only did the interns get to take some merchandise from the day, but fun memories and skills that will help them in their future professional roles. To say thank you, the interns surprised the team at Smaller Earth the following day by bringing a card, sweets and chocolate to show their appreciation to the staff involved.