Fircroft College of Adult Education
Neena Chauhan, Project Manager at Fircroft College
“Working together as a team with some of my colleagues at Fircroft was a really great way to understand the different perspectives we all had around support for staff wellbeing. We developed a lot of different ideas and created a safe and supportive space where this could be shared. Jo and Felicity were brilliant at providing a good remit whilst enabling us to express our thoughts and ideas. I really enjoyed the opportunity to explore wellbeing support for staff and these sessions were a strong foundation to this key piece of work. A big thank you to Jo and Felicity for structuring the discussions to help us get started!”
Mandy Gutsell, Tutor and Mental Health First Aider at Fircroft College
“I found Felicity and Jo’s facilitation skills very supportive and engaging. . . they gave plenty of space for us as participants to create what worked for us as the College. Felicity and Jo were great at helping us to look at what we needed to do to look after our own mental wellbeing.
Having the follow up sessions from Felicity and Jo also created momentum and accountability which was vital, when you have participants from different areas of an Organisation. I also felt as they were independent facilitators from the College staff, this offered more objectivity and honest sharing.”
Fircroft College is an adult education provider in Birmingham with whom we have worked over several years. The advent of the Covid pandemic in early 2020 and transition into lockdown necessitated the closure of the college and the rapid introduction of new approaches to teaching and learning, posing huge challenges to staff at the college.
There were a number of goals for the work: ensuring staff had access to the skills and support they needed to manage immediate stressors; training leaders and managers to promote individual and team resilience; introducing a sustainable staff wellbeing initiative, to provide support over the longer term.
Offering our Essential Resilience training to the whole staff group, coupled with 1-1 Resilience Coaching, ensured that staff received tailored support to address their specific wellbeing needs and to gain insights into understanding and managing their own and others’ stress. The Resilient Leadership training sessions extended these benefits, ensuring staff felt adequately understood and supported by the organisation.
We worked with a group of staff trained in mental health awareness to establish and run a series of peer-led staff wellbeing interventions, providing a consistent safe space for all college staff to access ongoing support.
There was a high level of engagement and uptake across all levels of the staff team. This meant skills and strategies for great mental health were embedded throughout the organisation. Participants reported wellbeing benefits both at work and at home, and this positively impacted their interactions with students. Our work with leaders placed wellbeing and resilience high on the agenda and, along with the peer-led staff support interventions, led to a longer-term investment in staff wellbeing.