Wellbeing for VCS – looking after yourself, as well as others

And breathe” – check out this thoughtful blog about wellbeing for us all in the Voluntary Sector by our own Charlotte Repton, Project Manager, Community Chesterfield

At Community Chesterfield, we support organisations with a focus on Health and Social Care. Working in caring roles can impact on mental health at the best of times, and whilst we are still living through the COVID-19 pandemic, strain on those delivering Health and Social Care services remains high – which includes staff and volunteers in the third sector, as well as frontline healthcare professionals. That’s why we’ve organised a number of learning opportunities, freely available to voluntary and community sector organisations, focused on wellbeing.

The first date for your diary is Training & Tea – Looking after the well-being of your remote workers on 27 January at 9am. Training sessions in this series are only 45 minutes long, so don’t take too much time out of your day but are always filled with practical tips and techniques – and the content will also be relevant to teams that are still operating in person. We’ve all had to adjust to a lot over the last year, and being part of these sessions is also a good way to share your experience and learn from your peers.

We’re really excited to be working with William Van Gordon, associate professor in contemplative psychology at University of Derby, to deliver An Introduction to Mindfulness at 11am on Wednesday 10 March. The course will be broken into three sections, a short presentation about mindfulness, followed by some mindfulness practice then ending with questions and answers about how you can work mindfulness into your work or your own daily life. We’re hoping to run more sessions following on from this, but this will be an essential introduction into the topic.

Looking forward to April, we’ll be running a series led by Sarah Markham, founder of Calm in a Box, all about “finding a calmer, happier and healthier life for work/life brilliance”. The four short sessions will follow Sarah’s CALM model:

C – Connect with me through supportive conversations

A –  All of me matters

L – Let me have time for rest and recovery

M – Motivate and inspire me to take care of others

Like our Training and Tea sessions, these sessions will be only 45 minutes long. We recognise that it can feel difficult to take time out of your day when you’re feeling stretched – but investing time in your own wellbeing and of those around you will pays off in the long run… We all need simple strategies at the moment to ensure we don’t burn out and that we can keep on doing the work that we love to the best of our abilities under tough conditions.

We hope these sessions will be interesting and useful for you as professionals, leaders, colleagues and most of all as individuals.

Finally, if anyone is reading this at a point when you feel like you need immediate and urgent help, there are some links to Mental Health Support Services on Derbyshire Voluntary Action’s website.