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The importance of allyship in supporting workplace wellbeing

Allyship is about creating an inclusive culture at Connected Places Catapult. By creating a safe, open environment where people feel able to talk about their experiences, Connected Places Catapult encourages every employee to take individual responsibility for considering the wellbeing of their colleagues.

The panel really did provide a great platform to raise awareness on mental health. I feel fortunate I was able to share my own experiences.

Men’s Health Panel Member
Connected Places Catapult

I would like to say a huge (and belated) thank you for the men’s mental health panel session last week, both for organising it in the first place and for sharing your experiences so openly. It is really positive that the organisation is being so up-front about this area.

Men’s Health Panel Attendee
Connected Places Catapult

Sharing personal stories

Connected Places Catapult takes a holistic approach to wellbeing with a focus on prevention and education.

By providing a platform for people to share their individual stories, Connected Places Catapult can support colleagues and thus prevent issues arising by building allyship in the workplace. This allyship aims to empower individuals to feel confident to talk with colleagues who may have been through similar experiences and seek advice on how they have sought help.

Connected Places Catapult hosted several events this year to enable employees to build an understanding of the different cultural backgrounds, beliefs and experiences of their colleagues.

One such event was Time to Talk Day. Connected Places Catapult invited a colleague from the Catapult Network to come and share his story about the impact of living with bipolar, how he dealt with diagnosis and what he has been doing to raise awareness of this disorder to support others. He spoke openly to colleagues about the symptoms of the disorder and how he created a support network to help him monitor how he’s doing and the benefits he felt from having friends/family and also work colleagues support him with this.

Other events held so far in 2021 promoting the importance of, diversity and inclusion are:

Sharing cultural celebrations: A presentation on the significance of Chinese New Year and the meaning behind the various ways it is celebrated with families.

International’s Women’s Day: Prof. Sarah Sharples, former Connected Places Catapult Non-Executive Director and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Nottingham led a discussion on the role of innovation in achieving gender quality, the impact of the pandemic on women and key factors needed for a successful diversity and inclusion

Walk All Over Cancer Month: A group of ten Connected Places Catapult colleagues took on the challenge to walk 10,000 steps a day, every day in March and raised £3,457 for Cancer Research UK.

Pride Month: Panel discussion which featured two internal allies from Connected Places Catapult and facilitated by Toby Thompkins, Forbes Featured Leadership Advisor and two internal ally enthusiasts on the subject of allyship.

Men’s Health Panel: Four men from Connected Places Catapult sharing their experiences during Covid, how this has affected their mental health and the reasons why barriers exist in men feeling able to share their mental health challenges.

I find these sessions really insightful and beneficial and think they are great things for the organisation to be doing. I know how much they rely on people opening up about themselves so I am very grateful to you for that and to everyone else who contributed.

LGBTQ+ Panel Attendee
Connected Places Catapult