Leadership, Resilience and Wellbeing on the agenda at Swindon Mindful Employer Conference

By Anita Jaynes on 8 October, 2014

Since it was formed in 2008, the Swindon Mindful Employer Network has attracted top speakers and excellent attendance at its annual conferences.

With an increasing interest in mental health issues among employers, the local network has no problem in filling venues with a wide range of businesses from all sectors represented. This year it is to stage its big annual event at Nationwide House, courtesy of the Nationwide Building Society and Baxter Storey, on Thursday 6 November.

Among the speakers booked to take part in November are Dr Sabir Giga, Director of PhD Programmes and a Senior Lecturer in Organizational Health and Wellbeing at the Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University.

His presentation will explore ‘presenteeism’ which is the term given to employees who are suffering mental or physical illness but still attending a place of work.

Mark Harper MP, Minister of State for Disabled People, will address the conference.  Mark was educated at Headlands school, Swindon, and Swindon College, before studying philosophy, politics and economics at Brasenose College, Oxford. Mark qualified as a chartered accountant with the professional services network, KPMG, in 1995. Until 2002 he worked for Intel Corporation in a variety of fields, including finance, business operations and marketing.

Successful businesswoman and inspirational speaker Fiona Bowman was delighted to be asked to take part in the network conference. As a Senior Manager in the City of London, having achieved recognition and respect at the top of her Facilities Management profession, and as a member of the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, a City Liveried Company, Fiona Bowman talks about her amazing journey from the horrors of 10 Years of Domestic Abuse to the success of her current position. She will powerfully reflect on what it feels like to be an employee and a victim of Domestic Violence and will stress the importance of employers in the lives of victims.

She will also talk about the longer term impacts of domestic abuse and the healing process which she has transitioned through.

Richard Frost is the UK lead of Mindful Employer which is celebrating 10 years of growth and success around the country. He has worked with Department for Work & Pensions in the development of the government’s Disability Employment Strategy published in Autumn 2013. Richard has worked in the field of employment since 1979, specialising in helping people with disabilities. He has specialised in mental health since 2002 although his interest in that particular area dates back many years.

Richard will be taking part in an interview session with Heart FM News Editor Cormac MacMahon which also features Adrian Embling of Mindset Wessex and Geoff Windle of Lift Psychology.

Chair of the Swindon Mindful Employer Network Melanie Richens will host the conference and introduce guest speakers and there will also be a contribution from Mike Godfrey who chairs both The Swindon Initiative and the Swindon Employment and Skills Advisory Board.

Nationwide Building Society will be providing the conference facilities and Baxter Storey are preparing a complimentary buffet lunch for delegates.

Julia Dunn, Chief Compliance Officer of Nationwide Building Society says:

“We are keen supporters of the Swindon Mindful Employer Network and look forward to hosting this interesting and popular event. Supporting the wellbeing of our people and removing the stigma of mental ill-health is important to us as a responsible employer.  We are delighted to be joined in this effort by Baxter Storey.”

David Latham, who manages the network at Richmond Fellowship, feels this is an important occasion for Mindful Employer in Swindon: “Demand for places at our events has always been very high indeed  and this will be no exception. I think that with the support from Nationwide Building Society and Baxter Storey this conference will be an extra special occasion for us. There is a lot of interest in mental health and wellbeing in the workplace and the network has been pivotal in providing an engaging forum for businesses to meet and discuss these important matters.  Our thanks to Nationwide and Baxter Storey for their incredible generosity and example”

This conference is free to representatives of employers in the Swindon area.  Booking is essential. More details from smen@richmondfellowship.org.uk