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Published: 26 Jun 2024

ClwydAlyn – Winner 2024, Best for Mental Health & Wellbeing, sponsored by ILF Scotland

ClwydAlyn go to considerable lengths to foster the wellbeing of their people, organisation, and the communities they work within, and their person-centred approach demonstrates that they are both living and leading with their values of Trust, Hope and Kindness. 

A supportive approach 

The commitment to wellbeing is evidenced by having a dedicated Wellbeing Team, who provide person-centred support to individuals and to managers, referrals to specialist counselling services and Occupational Health and maintain the Sources of Support resources on the intranet page. The team also deliver bespoke wellbeing sessions to teams and collaborate with managers to implement support. An Inclusion Specialist works alongside the team to address any stigma related to mental health or neurodiversity if identified. Wellness Action Plans are encouraged empower staff and managers to work together to identify the support required to keep the individual well and in work.  Specialist welfare benefits advice and support is provided via the dedicated Welfare Team. ClwydAlyn understands the impact wellbeing has on sickness absence and intervention has been successful, with the Wellbeing Team preventing sick leave in 70% of cases they supported.  

A compassionate culture 

ClwydAlyn’s diligence to creating a supportive culture is evident in a number of ways. Induction for new starters will include mental health awareness training and regular training opportunities are provided with the aim that all staff will be mental health first aid aware with a significant proportion of staff also being fully mental health first aid trained. Their ambition to becoming a Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experience (TrACE) informed organisation is driven by the benefit to their service users as well as staff, and so aim that all frontline staff will have Trauma Informed Practice training to support its embedding into service delivery. There are a number of specialist peer support groups, for example neurodiversity, inclusion and menopause. Discounted gym membership is available across three counties with plans to expand this offering. Voluntary health screenings are available and partnerships with the local Stroke Prevention service provides information and guidance to promote healthy lifestyle choices. ClwydAlyn are currently also working with Macmillan Cancer Support to develop their guidance on supporting those living with cancer or caring for someone who is living with cancer. 

Healthy work practices 

ClwydAlyn take a person-centred approach to flexibility. Open and supportive conversations between employees and managers are encouraged. A range of arrangements are available and informal arrangements are favoured over taking the formal route, as the benefits of building positive long-term relationships and trust is understood. Time off is given to attend counselling sessions and any health-related appointments. ClwydAlyn also support staff to access specialist treatment for example physiotherapy and osteopathy to support the individual to remain in work or to return to work. 

Internal communications and a monthly newsletter promote inclusion and challenge stereotypical attitudes, as well as signpost external resources, one-off campaigns and suggestions for actions to improving health and wellbeing for staff and managers. Awareness days are promoted, for example on Time to Talk day where managers are encouraged through promotional posters and communications in advance, to take the time out to have a cup of tea and chat with their teams. ClwydAlyn seek out feedback through pulse surveys, monitor staff sickness and referrals to counselling services to identify patterns or concerns, and learn from constructive feedback from leavers.