We Can Work It Out: Addressing Mental Health in the Workplace

Today sees the launch of online platform, We Can Work It Out.

We Can Work It Out is a membership site for employers. For an annual subscription of £349, we support employers in supporting employees, help them to bridge the gap in communication and in complying with the law. PSEN members can join at the discounted rate of £200.

We do this by providing resources, free HR support and access to experts and people with lived experiences. Members are kept up to date with legislation updates and given a platform to network with their peers.

We understand resources are often tight, that time is of the essence and that the topic of mental health can feel like a murky minefield if you’ve not experienced mental health problems of your own. But we also know that employees play an integral part in a healthy business.

We Can Work It Out encourages employers to play a proactive role rather than a reactive one. Supporting employees to remain in work, reducing their stress and showing that you genuinely care, often leads to reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, reduced re-recruitment and training costs, increased loyalty, increased motivation and a thriving bottom line.

For those with mental health problems, work can play an important part in recovery. It gives routine, a sense of purpose, financial independence and time with other people.

Members of We Can Work It Out commit to:

  • Broaden their knowledge of mental health problems
  • Be proactive in starting conversations in the workplace about wellbeing and mental health
  • Provide support to those experiencing mental health problems
  • Respect the rights, dignity and privacy of employees
  • Work with employees to reduce stress and maintain a better work/life balance
  • Not discriminate against those with mental health problems, or a history of mental health problems, in promotion or recruitment
  • Comply with the law

Jayne Hardy, CEO of the We Can Work It Out (WCWIO) said: “As someone who has struggled with mental health problems, I understand the role work plays on recovery. My own mental health declined rapidly when I lost my job in 2005. Our aim is to help employers support employees with mental health problems to remain in work, giving them the guidance and tools to do so.”

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Vote Grow Wild Plymouth!

Your vote could help us grow wild flowers right in the heart of Plymouth city centre.

Vote here: http://vote.growwilduk.com/#

Plymouth has put forward an exciting plan to create a corridor of wildflowers along Armada Way from the train station to the Hoe – ‘City to Sea’ – as part of the Grow Wild campaign organised by Kew Gardens.

Our flagship site is now one of only five on a national shortlist in a contest that aims to bring people and communities together to sow, grow and support UK native wildflowers. People power will dictate who wins the £120,000 to make the project happen, so the campaign is on to get the most votes. Voting starts today and will go on until 4th November.

A key part of the proposal is poppy planting near the Naval Memorial on The Hoe to honour those who have made sacrifices for their country. For more information on the scheme visit our website www.plymouth.gov.uk/growwild

Not only has the City to Sea flagship site the potential to transform Armada Way with colour and flowers, but the aim is to bring this strip of land alive with events for schools and the wider community through planting, bug hunts and other events designed to get more of us city folk to interact with nature.

So tell your networks, colleagues, friends and families and ask them to spread the word! People can vote from anywhere in the world. Here’s the voting website again: http://vote.growwilduk.com/#

To follow the action throughout the month we are:

Twitter:         @NaturePlymouth

Facebook:     SteppingStones Plymouth

If you want to support this campaign further, there are digital branded images for use on your websites, facebook and twitter pages contact Jeremy.Sabel@plymouth.gov.uk.

 

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Solution-focused Communication

Zebra Collective’s  next Solution-focused Communication 2-day course runs on Tuesdays 25th November and 9th December at Welcome Hall, Devonport, PL1 4DN.

This is a consistently well-evaluated course: the solution-focused approach is a versatile communication tool that can have real power in work with anyone who is stuck with big problems, as well as those just contemplating making some changes in life.
For more on course content,  learning outcomes and participant comments, see here.
For more on Zebra’s solution-focused work, go to: zebra.coop/projects/zebra-solutions

The course costs £125+VAT per participant. This includes lunch, refreshments throughout, a 30-page course manual and an attendance certificate with learning outcomes listed.

PSEN members get a 15% introductory discount on all Zebra courses and Zebra are offering up to two free or subsidised places. Contact marc@zebra.coop to discuss.

To book, or to discuss the course in more detail, email: marc@zebra.coop by 15th November.

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CIC dividend rule change

From 1st October 2014, there’s a change to the amount of profit that a CIC may distribute. Prior to that date, a CIC Limited by Shares could pay up to 20p per £1 in shares held – up to a maximim of 35% of distributable profits.

From 1st October, the 20p “dividend cap” has been removed, meaning that the limit on dividend payment is now simply 35% of distributable profits.

The panel recommending this change said:

“It is hoped that this package of measures will remove many of the barriers to investment which we have discussed in recent years and will encourage more entrepreneurs to choose the CIC limited by shares model, ensuring its success into the next decade.”

For some bedtime reading on the topic download the CIC Regulator guide.

 

 

 

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Funding Support Officer vacancy

Peninsula Enterprise are looking to recruit a Funding Support officer. This a permanent position working on the Social Enterprise Focus project, an exciting project that supports Social Enterprises to grow their business through business support and bidding for new business. (see the website http://www.socialenterprisefocus.com/cornwall/)

The post may be located in the Peninsula Enterprise Plymouth Office or any of the office locations in Cornwall, Devon, but will require regular attendance to the Plymouth office.

The full job description can be found here.

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Free business advice from Plymouth Business School students

Plymouth Business School is looking for real-life projects from businesses across the South West for their students to tackle as part of their learning.

Businesses will have the opportunity to utilise the skills of a team of five, 1st year students, free of charge, over a period of about 10 weeks.

Students from a variety of business disciplines such as administration, accounting & finance, marketing, economics, public services, and maritime business and logistics will be taking part in this scheme, which is badged by the University as ‘Inspiring Futures’.

Students commence work on the project in the New Year and at the end of the project, in the spring, businesses will receive a report and be invited to attend the students’ presentation at the University. Suitable projects involve some aspect of primary or secondary research that can be conducted remotely, away from your premises.

Projects need to be below risk, not time critical and suitable for students who are at the start of their academic journeys. Students will be working on other modules at the same time as the Inspiring Futures project.

Examples of previous projects are:

  • undertaking competitor analysis
  • undertaking customer analysis
  • undertaking brand analysis
  • evaluating a marketing plan
  • evaluating social media strategy
  • researching market trends
  • identifying new markets
  • creating a business plan to support funding bids
  • conducting a risk analysis of funding options
  • reviewing budgets and associated activities
  • investigating funding and finance options

For more information, visit the Inspiring Futures webpages, or contact Penny Hele at penny.hele@plymouth.ac.uk for an application form.

The closing date for applications is Tuesday 14th October 2014.

– See more at: http://www5.plymouth.ac.uk/schools/plymouth-business-school/inspiring-futures

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Software development projects

Plymouth University Commputing and Games Development degree courses have a ‘live projects’ module where clients can recruit a team of aspiring game/web developers to apply their skills to a real world problem. The process begins this term, and they are looking for socaial enterprises who are prepared to table an idea, act as a client, and interact with the  teams – in return you should get an experience of the development cycle for software solutions/apps/scaleable websites etc and a tech demo or prototype… previous years outcomes have won awards for the clients and have been taken forward to full development.

There is an afternoon workshop at Plymouth University on Wednesday 15th October 2014 at 2pm in Babbage 210. The purpose of the session is to make connections between potential clients and teams of students. If you would like to know more please contact Shirley Atkinson at shirley.atkinson@plymouth.ac.uk

 

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Coworking space in City Centre launches “Re-Invent Work” week.

THINQTANQ will be hosting a festival of activities to celebrate “Re-Invent Work” Week 27 September – 3 October. Home-based workers are invited to come work for free that week at the coworking space in Plymouth’s City Centre across from the Magistrates Court.  The creative, open plan coworking office space provides the chance for people who work on their own to experience the benefits that come from working alongside other talented people in the same space. Sabrina Simpson who manages the daily operations says, “We are inviting people to come learn about the benefits to personal productivity and the opportunity to meet other like-minded entrepreneurs and freelancers on a similar journey.”

Special events during Re-Invent Work week include lunchtime talks and workshops by business coaches, a talk focused on the needs of creative professionals by the Plymouth Patent Library office, an evening ‘Hootup’ event for people who use or are interested in using the Hootsuite social media tool, a morning business networking event, and a social evening event.  Ms. Simpson advised “We will be offering very special deals on our monthly membership packages for those who attend that week, so we encourage those who have been thinking about working at THINQTANQ to come visit that week.” More information about the event schedule can be found here from next week: http://thinqtanq.spaces.nexudus.com/en.

THINQTANQ is a new way to work that provides an ongoing community to support the success of Plymouth’s enterprising self-employed workforce. One of THINQTANQ’s founding members, Hanni Melnicenko of The Superwoman Project (www.thesuperwomanproject.co.uk) said after her second day working at the new space, “This was one of my most prouctive days EVER and I couldn’t stop when I got home either! Done about a weeks worth of work I reckon!” Besides providing a productive work environment for our members, THINQTANQ also have meeting room space for ongoing training events, which their members and outside organizations can use.

 

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Surviving depresssion E-book launch

Network memb1.Blurt cover 2820X4500 (1)ers, The Blurt Foundation, have just launched a new e-book: Blurt it Out – living with and surviving depression.

There’s a 25% discount for PSEN members http://selz.co/1qQy7Zr.

 

 

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Environmental Business Awards

Devon-based social enterprises are invited to apply for the Devon Environmental Business Initiative (DEBI) environmental business awards. They are free to enter and the cereomony is free to attend.  DEBI is keen to highlight the good work of Devon’s businesses, social enterprises, community projects and also individuals.

Winners of the awards in the past have included social enterprises such as Fungi Futures and Grocycle.

Devon Environmental Business Initiative (DEBI) is a charity set up over 20 years ago to promote environmental best practice in Devon.  For well over a decade they have been holding an awards ceremony at the Met Office to champion the good work that is being done in Devon.  These awards are financed through sponsorship.  This way everyone gets a chance to shine from large businesses to small community projects and individuals.  If shortlisted it’s free publicity and marketing for all the finalists/winners.

The deadline for entries is Friday 26th September by 5:30pm

For all the details on this year’s awards please go to our website: http://www.debi-online.org.uk/awards

 

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