Not-for-profit quality care for over 25 years

Friends of the Elderly encouraging teams to ‘unmind’

Friends of the Elderly, the charity which runs care homes, day care services and a grant giving service for older people living on low incomes, has continued to build on its commitment to its teams by expanding upon its Wellbeing Pledge and introducing a new online workplace mental health platform.

Through engaging with the Unmind platform, the charity is empowering all its employees to proactively measure, understand and improve their mental wellbeing and see, first hand, how it can, and will, change over time.  The outcomes and results of the collected – anonymous – data will help the management team to make more informed decisions about wellbeing of the charity’s workforce.

The team at Unmind collaborates with clinicians, authors and academics to provide interactive digital tools that encourage and promote all aspects of mental wellbeing. From sleep to calmness, fulfilment to happiness, the platform can be accessed and used from any device – a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone – at any time the member of staff needs it.

Commenting on the Unmind platform, Friends of the Elderly’s Head of Human Resources, Mathew Yates said: “The wellbeing of our teams is our top priority. Respecting everyone’s individual needs albeit physical, emotional, mental or occupational is essential to us. Working in the care sector and caring for others is so important as well as rewarding; however, it can also be very challenging and put a strain on a person’s mental health and wellbeing. At Friends of the Elderly we recognise this important issue and have made it our priority to ensure that our teams’ mental and physical wellbeing, health and welfare are looked after.

“By using the Unmind platform, our teams can easily access a wide range of proactive mental health and wellbeing exercises, courses and tools to help and support their own, specific needs.

“This could be mindfulness meditations and breathing exercises, sleep melodies, storytelling, yoga or healthy recipes. Being able to do this wherever they are, at whatever time of the day or night helps an individual to relax, focus, unwind and recharge.”

Back in 2020, the charity hosted a series of employee workshops to discover and put into action, how it could deliver better support and improve wellbeing in the workplace for each team member. The feedback from the workshops led to the creation of the Friends of the Elderly’s Wellbeing Pledge, which outlines the charity’s ethos, values, future and ongoing plans to ensure its teams’ workplace wellbeing. 

Using and maximising the new Unmind platform is an additional element to the Pledge and continues to reaffirm the charity’s commitment to everyone’s physical and mental wellbeing.

Rachel North, the charity’s Learning and Development Advisor added: “Unmind is an extremely useful, easy to use tool. Another feature we have utilised is the ability for the charity to add bespoke signposting information to our internal support systems such as our Employee Assistance Programme, the HR Team, Learning & Development Team support and to the financial support that we offer our staff.

 “Apart from our bespoke signposting function, we have extended the rest of the Unmind platform to family members of our teams. This has been very well received – and used. For example, my Mum uses it on a daily basis and thoroughly loves it. Another unique feature is the ability to send praise to your colleagues, to say thank you and show how they have inspired you. I’ve definitely found this a lovely tool to use.”

Mathew concluded: “Our Wellbeing Pledge was the first step in our wellbeing journey as an organisation and adding Unmind is another valuable component in our ongoing commitments to our valued teams.”

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