Last week I attended my first meeting of Aston's ‘Wellbeing Team’ - a new staff group made up of representatives from throughout the University - and thought it was important for Aspects to tell you all about the team and its work.
One of the five aims of Aston First is the 'development of all staff with everyone working for fairness, equality and respect, and promotion of staff wellbeing'. In 2008/09 HEFCE funded a project that explored links between staff wellbeing and organisational performance (see www.wellbeing.ac.uk for more information).
The University believes that the health and wellbeing of both staff and students is going to be essential to the successful delivery of Aston 2012 and 2020. Well-being means different things to different people but the University will provide physical, emotional and intellectual support and stimulation - basically making life a little better for everyone!
A ‘Wellbeing Team’ supported by Adele MacKInlay has been established specifically push forward initiatives in this area. Members of the team are Kate Parsons, Jane Farrell, Paul Lawrence, Darnette Cowan, Gareth Evans, Simon Foster, Tim Hooton, Ray Power, James Pritchard and Rehana Yasin. The team is supported by Jackie Edwards.
Exciting projects that the team are currently exploring include free sports taster sessions, pedometers for staff, a wellbeing fair and an online communications toolkit which gives on-line information and advice about issues such as stress, fitness, nutrition and work-life balance as well as links through to well-being policies and contacts for services and facilities within the University.
To kick things off the group has organised a series of canal-side lunchtime walks that are open to all staff. The first one takes place on Tuesday 11 May and with this beautiful weather, I can't think of anything better to do at 12:30pm than join in! If you’d like to go along, there’s no need to book, just meet outside the Woodcock Sports Centre at 12:30pm – the walk will be along the local canal network, providing an opportunity to see the old waterway routes and offering unusual views of some of Birmingham's iconic buildings. The walk will last up to an hour (but you are welcome to return to the University at any point on the walk!) Please wear appropriate footwear. Further walks are planned for Wednesday 26 May and Wednesday 16 June – details will follow nearer the time.
Do you have any suggestions? Let the team know - contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any other member of the team!
Words by Louise Russell