Success Stories from our Wellbeing Fund
22 October 2019

Success Stories from our Wellbeing Fund

We're committed to investing in staff health and wellbeing at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, and our Wellbeing Fund supports staff-run improvement initiatives across the Trust.

Bridget Davison, Sussex Rehabilitation Centre

Bridget Davison, Deputy Manager at Sussex Rehabilitation Centre, applied for new tub chairs for the centre’s staff room.

“The chairs we had were very old and fabric-covered, so we couldn’t clean them,” Bridget explained. “Staff used them while they ate their lunch, but they sagged and were very low. Our new chairs are higher and firmer. I’m sure they’re much better for digesting food!”

Bridget’s funding application was approved in April, and the new chairs were delivered in May. “It’s a simple change,” Bridget continued, “but improving the environment we take our lunch breaks in has enhanced staff morale.”

Yoga class at Brighton General Hospital

Katie Stone, PA to the Director and Deputy Directors of Nursing, asked for yoga mats for the Arundel Suite at Brighton General Hospital.

“There seemed to be limited opportunities for staff to get away from their desks and stretch their legs at the BGH site,” Katie said. “I strongly believe that physical exercise is a great stress reliever and a way to maintain and improve mental health, and I did my research on the benefits of yoga and exercise in general to include in my application. We were granted £100 towards the purchase of 12 yoga mats.”

Katie then arranged for a local yoga teacher to run weekly classes for SCFT staff. The classes take place in the Arundel Suite on Mondays after work, and cost £8 to drop in, or £45 for a block of six classes.

“Personally if I don’t exercise during the day then by the time I’ve rushed home, made dinner and put my children to bed it’s very hard to get motivated to do anything else in the evenings,” Katie admitted. “That means I really value these snippets of me time, and I would love to see a wider range of options for before, during and after work activities, including non-exercise based opportunities such as massage.”

“I believe that small lifestyle changes in and around the workplace can help us all,” she continued. “In order for us to focus on delivering exceptional care to our patients through Trust values it is vital that we take care of ourselves first. I’m certainly thinking about what else may be beneficial for my next Wellbeing Fund application!”

Tai Chi class

Time to Talk West were awarded £180 for six Tai Chi sessions, which started at Bicentennial Building in September.

“We have around 50 staff members, so anyone from our team is welcome to attend if they are working from Chichester,” Time To Talk’s Wellbeing Champion Amy Bailey confirmed. “We’re encouraging staff to take their full half hour break, and try something new, stimulating, and hopefully relaxing, in a protected space of time.”

If the classes prove popular, Amy hopes to extend their run. “I think it is extremely valuable to be able to access and use the Wellbeing Fund for something fun and soothing for our team,” she said. “We all go the extra mile and work very hard for our patients and each other. Attending Tai Chi will help the team to recharge their batteries, giving them more resources and resilience to manage their working day.”

Hospital@Home e-bike

Finally, Marcello Rossi, ANP/Clinical Lead Nurse, used the Wellbeing Fund for £1,000 towards the purchase of an electric bike for the Hospital@Home service.

“The Wellbeing Fund covered 50% of the e-bike, and the Brighton & Hove City Council’s local air quality fund paid the rest,” Marcello explained. “It’s perfect for travelling around Brighton and Hove, and it definitely reduces stress compared to driving around the city. I can’t fault it really - we get paid to exercise!”

Marcello believes other services could benefit from using the e-bike too. “We’ve had a few people interested from Responsive Services,” he said. “It could work for staff working in Integrated Primary Care as well, as they cover a relatively small catchment area.”

The Hospital@Home team clocked up over 400 miles on their new bike in its first four months of use. Aside from the e-bike’s obvious environmental and health benefits, this which equates to a direct saving of £180 in business mileage claims. “It feels like a real win,” Marcello concluded. “It improved my mental health, and that of my team.”

SCFT staff - do you have an idea for boosting your team’s health and wellbeing? 

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