Mental health campaigner and international HR professional joins Swindon Mindful Employer conference

By Anita Jaynes on 9 August, 2017

The Swindon Mindful Employer Network has announced its third guest speaker for their big 2017 Conference which takes place at the Swindon Marriott on Monday October 9. Geoff McDonald is a former Global Vice-President of HR for Unilever and recently set up a mental health charity called Minds@Work which hopes to change business attitudes to mental wellbeing in the workplace.

Commenting on his visit in October Geoff said: “Mental health is talked about in the media and many people are genuinely interested in the subject – particularly in recent years in relation to workplace stress, wellbeing and resourcefulness.  I am keen to encourage and support local employers change their workplaces for the better – to help them provide a happy and successful environment for all employees. Leadership is key to this happening and I hope to share my experience and knowledge with delegates at the Swindon Mindful Employer Network. I am pleased to visit the town and look forward to meeting business people and representatives of local employers.”

Geoff’s background in teaching, HR, marketing, communications and sustainability is considerable. During his 25 years with Unilever (a global corporation with a turnover of £50 billion, 170,000 employees in 90 countries around the world), his experience has been truly global working across Africa, Middle-East, Turkey, Australasia, Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Today Geoff is a very much sought after speaker, inspiring and provoking organisations to put purpose and wellbeing at the centre of everything they do. His experience at Unilever, under the pupillage of Paul Polman, allows him to provide very practical insights and speak on how to go about truly embedding purpose and address the taboo associated with wellbeing (particularly mental health) within a large global multi-national organisation. With this experience come some real learnings on what may or may not work.

Melanie Richens, who is voluntary Chair of the Swindon Mindful Employer Network, is excited by Geoff’s talk at the conference in October, she said: “Geoff brings a wealth of experience in leadership and wellbeing at work issues. We believe changing attitudes to mental health in the workplace should start with leaders at senior level and Geoff is the right person to provide the right advice and ideas to make this happen. There will be a lot of interest locally in his presentation.”

Geoff also supported the Royal Foundation (Prince William, Harry and Kate) in their mental health campaign and activation within the corporate sector. He was recently appointed as a Trustee of Family Links, a Charity promoting and educating parents and teachers to develop emotionally healthy children and young adults.

Geoff joins other conference speakers including Olympic gold medallist Doctor David Hemery CBE and Professor Sir Cary Cooper.

This Swindon network is funded by Public Health at Swindon Borough Council. Places for this event are available for representatives of employers in the Swindon and surrounding area only. Booking is essential. For more information about this event please contact:

Pictured above: Geoff Macdonald, guest speaker at the Swindon Mindful Employer Network annual conference in October