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New ways of working and wellbeing

colour portrati photograph of Julie Farwell

The coronavirus lockdown has changed the way we work individually, with our own teams and with other teams at the University. Whether we are working from home or are working on the campus, each of us is adapting in our own way to these changed circumstances. Under these circumstances it’s particularly important we take the time to look after our wellbeing. We offer a wide range of resources and tools to support your health and wellbeing, which can be accessed through our Wellbeing page.

One of these is the Wellbeing Peer Support, a volunteer network of trained colleagues. Julie Farwell is an Executive Administration Officer in the School of Literature and Languages and part of the network. The volunteers in the network are a first point of contact if you are experiencing a mental health issue, poor wellbeing or emotional distress.

We asked Julie about the continuation of the network during lockdown:

“I would say that many colleagues who I speak to aren’t aware of the wellbeing provision the University offers. It’s especially important to publicise these services at this time and reassure colleagues that they are still accessible. How you can access them might have changed, for example the Employee Assistance Programme is now contactable by email rather than phone in the first instance. You can contact any Wellbeing Peer Support volunteer direct (from this list) and don't have to be based in the same School/Function.

“I’ve always been interested in wellbeing and had previously worked in Occupational Health at the University. So the Wellbeing Peer Support Network was a good way to get involved and help others and my experience on the Springboard Women’s Development Programme gave me the confidence to do this. Whereas before I might have just seen this as an interesting opportunity, but maybe not for me.

“I didn’t want to take on the role of Wellbeing Peer Support and for this to be only occasional interactions. We’re not professionals but act as a first point of contact and signposting service, so I’ve found that the more people I’ve spoken with, the easier this has become.”

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