NICVA Wellbeing Group: Promoting a Healthier and Happier Workplace

20 Mar 2023 Sandra Bailie    Last updated: 19 May 2023

Photo of team NICVA at 10 pin bowling

Over the last three months the NICVA Wellbeing group has been busy providing opportunities for staff to focus on their wellbeing and learn how to improve their mental and physical health.

The Wellbeing group is made up of staff from across the organisation who have volunteered to plan and implement our wellbeing strategy.

The team - Alex, Dawn, Jocelyn, Leeann, Roisin, Susan and Sandra -  all have an infectious enthusiasm for wellbeing that has spread throughout the whole organisation and become part of our culture.

We are part of the NICHS and PHA Work Well Live Well Programme which has supported us and helped us plan. NICHS organise events that we can be part of as a Work Well Live Well organisations, such as ten-pin bowling in Lisburn.

A great evening's fun, even though we didn't win.We could not do all of this without the dedication and hard work of each team member - a big thanks to all of them!

Monthly Newsletter

This quarter we rejuvenated the monthly newsletter. Each month the newsletter includes: a monthly focus (eg World Sleep Day and No smoking month), a book review, recipe swap, NICVA in the community section, wellbeing in the workplace section, resources and dates for your diary. Each section is written by a different member of staff so it is great to have so many people involved. 

The NICVA in the community section helps us to get to know each other by sharing about volunteering or community work we are involved eg. Donna in Special Olympics and Jocelyn creating events for softball in Ulster.

This month we are also featuring events that are on to encourage people to get out and about.

Thanks to Jocelyn for pulling it together for us every month.

Lunchtime Yoga

We have started lunchtime yoga on Mondays with Matthew. Eight of us have been learning new moves and stretches such as downward dog, cobra and tree, while focusing on our breathing. It has been a great opportunity to learn how to be mindful and listen to our bodies. Most of us have been using the yoga moves at home during the'll not be long before we are doing headstands with ease.

Fun Runs

We encourage staff to get out walking and running and our newsletter includes upcoming runs we can be involved in. Roisin set up a Whatsapp group to motivate people to get moving more outside. 

Denise and Roisin took part in the NICHS Red Dress Run on 26 February - they looked the part as you can see.

Each year Denise organises a team to run in the relay of the Belfast Marathon to raise money for a charity that she is involved in - Sunshine Foundation Romania. Roisin, Sandra and Denise are busy training this month, as they are running a leg each. The staff help support this through sponsorship and general encouragement.

Awareness sessions for staff

We had a Menopause Mindset session in January with Stephanie Reid, Menopause Coach and Consultant. It included: Stages and Symptoms, Symptom management: CBT techniques; Mindfulness; Emotional Freedom Therapy/Tapping, Food and Mood and Self-care.

The staff that attended found it very helpful with lots of practical ideas. Since then our HR manager Alex has developed a Menopause Policy, to support women in our workplace experiencing menopausal symptoms and managers supporting their staff.

On 24 March we will have a Sleep Well Webinar for staff. This webinar delivered by Gabrielle from Employers for Disability, will highlight the mental and physical importance of sleep, how we sleep, and the main environment & lifestyle considerations and top tips to help us maintain good sleep.

Walking meetings

Some staff have been trying out walking meetings. Instead of sitting in the office they have been getting out for a walk in the fresh air, which is great for stimulating new ideas while getting exercise at the same time.

We hope to do this more as the weather gets warmer.

More information and what you can do

It only takes a few small steps to start up a wellbeing group and develop a strategy for your organisation.

This will have a positive impact on your staff and their wellbeing.

If you would like more information about setting up a wellbeing group in your organisation you can contact the Work Well Live Well Team in NI Chest Heart and Stroke or Sandra in NICVA.'s picture
by Sandra Bailie

Head of Organisational Development

[email protected]

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