Wellbeing for Changemakers - the back story

I’d been sharing our Facebook posts to the Network of Wellbeing’s “Building Wellbeing Together” page for some time when a message came through from their director, Roger Higman. To cut a relatively short story even shorter, within the space of a couple of meetings, I was signed up to design and deliver a series of online workshops.  And this is how the Wellbeing for Changemakers programme came to be.

Roger and the team had received funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. The Network of Wellbeing (NOW) had realised that the people who support others’ wellbeing often neglect their own. This can give rise to burn out. It’s no secret that we are living through challenging times. The sense of crisis is rife. How can we help people to avoid getting swamped (and walking away from their jobs?)

What made Roger think that I’d be a good person to design and deliver the programme? Well - I had first-hand experience of front-line services. Spent many years working in social care and, more recently, as a customer advisor and then trainer for Age UK. Had also been signed off with burnout earlier in the year so knew how that felt. And of course, I’ve done a lot of exploration of wellbeing. 

The brief was fairly straightforward. They wanted something interactive and informative, that encouraged connection between participants. The formula for the sessions emerged. There needed to be content, and space for discussion in break-out rooms. There also needed to be lots of tools - simple strategies people could take away, to help them improve their wellbeing. 

Next step - agree the themes as this would determine the content. Wellbeing is such a huge arena - how could we make the best use of the time? No point trying to guess - so, we canvassed the opinions of NOW’s newsletter readers. From there, the sessions took shape:

Session 1 The Science of Stress

Session 2 Listening/Discussion space

Session 3 Identifying and Avoiding Burnout

Session 4 Listening/Discussion space

Session 5 From The Drama Triangle to The Empowerment Dynamic

Session 6 Review, Celebrate and Next Steps

Each week would included a mixture of practical and creative activities to uplift, nurture and inspire. 

I set off to draw up plans. It felt like the beginning of something special.


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