Business Breakfast round up: Thursday 19 May 2016



PrintThere was a great turn-out for the fifth SevernNet Business Breakfast, with 18 people, representing 13 different organisations, attending. Thanks go to Jac Blacker & Avonmouth Community Centre for hosting, and for supplying this month’s breakfast of croissants, fruit & yoghurt.


We welcomed several first-time Business-Breakfasters – thanks for coming and we look forward to seeing you again • Tony & Barbara Hall, Bristol Dementia Action Alliance • Mark Pepper, Ambition Lawrence Weston
• Susan Walton & Dave Nichols, Bristol Mental Health Employment Service • Josh Difford, Civil Security
Solutions • Letty Anderton, Community Access Support Service (CASS) • James Montague, Hilton Bristol
• Bearnie DeMonick & Regina Britto, Southmead Development Trust, and Jac Blacker from Avonmouth
Community Centre.

Focus on well-being

This month’s Business Breakfast was held during Mental Health Awareness Week, so it seemed a perfect time to address the well-being of the workforce, and the business.

Letty Anderton of CASS

Works raising awareness of mental health services in Bristol, and how mental health relates to business.

• 1 in 3 of population has sleeping problems
• 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health problems in any one year – that means 1 in 4 employees
• 37% have had time off work due to stress, low mood etc

Bearing these stats in mind, a supportive work environment can increase productivity and reduce absenteeism. Some useful resources:


The Workplace Wellbeing Charter

Sign up to the Workplace Wellbeing Charter • free, voluntary scheme run by Bristol City Council • national award which recognises the positive way in which organisations manage their business and support their workforce. The charter involves: • self-assessing against a set of nationally agreed standards • devising an action plan to drive future change • working with staff and other organisations to implement good practice.


Report – Creating Mentally Healthy Workplaces

Employees’ experiences in the workplace • the steps employers can take to create mentally healthy workplaces • based on employee feedback and national best practice.


Emotional Wellness at Work

Services delivered through tailored support that businesses can buy-in to address mental wellbeing in the workplace. Online video explains what they do, with stats on the cost to businesses related to stress and mental ill-health in the workplace. Focus on the organisational benefits that come with a focus on employee wellbeing through reducing costs associated with mental ill health and increasing employee performance and productivity.


Time to Change

Challenging the stigma associated with mental health • specific support for employers and managers of organisations • understanding the legal situation • practical tips to make the workplace healthy and reduce stress • supporting an employee through a period of mental ill-health.

Susan Walton & Dave Nichols of Bristol Mental Health Employment Service

Individuals can refer themselves or get referred by mental health professionals

For employees • Phone line & email service • Employment coaches work on search & job retention • Job search: work with those ready to work – help with confidence & motivation • Job retention – work with long term sick returning to jobs, support them to sustain employment, often working with employer or HR manager on staged return • Also offer in-work support to prevent relapse and support to stay well in work: ‘Mental Health Fist Aid Box.’

For employers • signup to Mindful Employer Charter • show employees and outside world that you care about well-being • find out about legislation & how to support employees.

Bearnie DeMonick & Regina Britto, Southmead Development Trust

Free health Checks: a national programme supported by NHS • intervention programme to prevent and lower the risk of heart-related conditions such as diabetes, stroke, kidney disease, etc • aimed primarily at 40-74 year olds • will come to workplace to deliver confidential health checks (where 6 or more candidates are identified)
• participants receive a report which, if necessary, is shared with GP for follow up • for managers as well as employees • funded til July at present.

Tony Hall, Bristol Dementia Action Alliance

Set up following a public meeting in July 2013 • aim to make Bristol THE dementia-friendly city in the UK
• dementia can affect anyone who lives, works, visits or plays in the city • all should be treated with common courtesy and respect • they are our customers, use our shops & services • Purple Angel campaign for
retailers • has worked with independent retailers & bigger firms including GWR, M&S, Bristol International
Airport, Farm Foods, Bristol Old Vic etc.

Tuesday 21 June: BDAA, BRACE and Smith & Williamson are holding a Dementia – It’s your Business event at the premises of Smith & Williamson Solicitors in Bristol, 9.30-11am.

Business resilience

Kate Royston explained the conversation around this had started in April’s Business Breakfast.

It’s about being able to respond to emergencies or disasters that might affect your business. Is a Business Contingency Plan (BCP) in place? The very useful Business Resilience Handbook was produced as part of Bristol Green Capital 2015.

Andy Bunce, BCC: every business needs a BCP – its about emergency preparedness, assessing risks, horizon scanning, in our area what happens when sirens go off, do you have back-up premises? Call diversions? Flood plans?

The Civil Contingencies Act means BCC must think about these issues – there is a time and money cost but it is important. BCC can run table-top exercises for businesses – and give you tips on what you need – go through a variety of scenarios and think through their impact.

Kate added: Bristol is one of Rockefellers’ 100 Resilient Cities. Sarah Toy of BCC is leading on encouraging SME businesses to look at issues. Mental health and well-being is an important aspect of business resilience.

Future: will be developing a pilot project for a number of businesses and organisations to develop Business Contingency Plans – if interested get in touch.

Other news

• Royal Portbury Dock meeting in April was very positive – discussed HGV parking and concerns re J19 tailbacks and traffic build-up. Contractors Wincanton are preparing a report for Highways England.

• H&S Peer to Peer Group – first meeting TBA

• Sustainable Transport Forum – 1st June

• Jobs Fair – mid-July – currently working on a venue

• 4 portable cabins need a new home – if interested get in touch


Next Business Breakfast

Thursday 16 June 2016

Resource Exchange Workshop and Introduction to Circular Economy

As part of BIG Green Week we will look at the circular economy and hold a mini swap-shop resource exchange of ‘haves’ and ‘wants’

Please register for the next Business Breakfast via Event Brite