How taking control of your finances can improve your wellbeing

How taking control of your finances can improve your wellbeing

Money can be something that causes us to worry, in fact over 1.5 million people in England are experiencing both problem debt and mental health issues.

If you are concerned that your finances are taking a toll on your health, we have listed some of the support available that can help you take back control. 

Talking about it

It might feel difficult at first to be vocal about finances, but being able to talk to someone you trust about money worries is a good place to start. Moneyhelper have a great guide on how to have a conversation about money if you aren’t sure how to approach the topic. There’s also our free and confidential helpline for people in our industry to talk to confidentiality about anything that might be troubling them, including financial issues. 

Budgeting

Creating a budget is a brilliant way to plan and improve your financial situation. By setting limits and keeping to them, you can help make your money go further each month. Thankfully, there are various free online budgeting tools that you can use, including Citizen’s Advice  and Moneyhelper

Grants and benefits 

Do you know whether you might be missing out on financial support? Whether you are working, unemployed, on long term sickness, a parent, or have a disability, it’s best to check whether you might be entitled to any benefits. Citizens advice is a good place to check if you are eligible for support. Turn2us also has a useful free and confidential benefits calculator tool to help you find the information you might need to claim benefits.

If you work or have worked in the print sector and may be struggling to make ends meet or find yourself in financial difficulty, we may be able to support you. We know that financial shocks, such as unexpected bills or a reduction in income due to changes at work or ill-health, can put a huge strain on your finances and wellbeing, but our grants can help. 

Get clued up

Sometimes it isn’t easy to keep up with money jargon, so let the experts do it for you. Money Saving Expert sends out a great weekly newsletter with a round up of top money tips, including how to reduce household bills, money off coupons and the best rate bank accounts. They’ve also teamed up with the Open University to provide a free Academy of Money course, giving you the vital skills and knowledge you might need to master your finances. 

Don’t forget, if you’re struggling with money or any type of worry, we are here for you. Our friendly team is on hand at the end of the phone to help with practical and emotional support. Get in touch with us on 01293 542820 or email us on support@theprintingcharity.org.uk.

The surprising benefits of online bookbinding courses for veterans

The surprising benefits of online bookbinding courses for veterans

Bound by Veterans has been offering craft bookbinding training to veterans since 2012, and we are proud to have been able to support them to carry out their incredible work. 

The benefits of bookbinding 

Bookbinding is both a therapeutic activity, and a way of gaining City & Guilds qualifications for those who were transitioning out of the services due to illness or wounds.  

It became apparent over the years that those who benefited most from the activity were often suffering from PTSD or other mental illness, and their reaction to even the short introductory lessons was surprisingly positive. 

The satisfaction of learning the craft and achieving high quality results not only offers distraction, but boosts confidence and self-esteem, increases manual and creative skills and can lead to City & Guilds vocational qualifications which enhance a CV. The experience is both fun and challenging.

“I think it is very satisfying and affirming, you are proving that you can do something outside of your normal daily routine, and a bit of a challenge” – Veteran 

Bookbinding online

2020 saw the interruption of the charity’s activities due to the pandemic. In response to this, they discussed ways of bringing bookbinding to veterans in their homes via Zoom and funding from The Printing Charity enabled a tutor to be hired to deliver the remote training sessions. 

Learning from home is an attractive option to the veterans for many reasons: there is no need to travel (which is a stress inducing factor for many); home life is relatively uninterrupted; and it offers an opportunity to socialise from a safe place.  The online communities (no more than 6 veterans on each course) offer an easy forum for sharing stories whilst working together for a common purpose. 

Ali Strachen, Chairman of BBV, is passionate about bookbinding’s effectiveness. The benefits of craft bookbinding, particularly to those with stress related illnesses, bears many many testimonials.  We maintain a very strong belief that this craft is helpful to those with mental health issues – and that is not only WIS veterans, but their families and loved ones also.” 

The online classes have been so successful that BBV aims to increase the outreach of their online webinars to offer the services to many more veterans nationwide. 

Find out more about Bound by Veterans. 

Podcast: Talking mental health in the workplace

Podcast: Talking mental health in the workplace

Opening conversation around the subject of mental health and wellbeing is really important which is why we’re delighted that our Relationship Manager, Nicola Peacock, recently featured on Inkspire, the podcast for printers created by Tharsten. Nicola joined host Ross Edwards alongside Vicky Penketh, NHS Clinical Psychologist, for an insightful discussion into mental health in the workplace.

The episode is full of insight and advice for anyone working in the industry, and discusses how simple concepts such as active listening, can have massive benefits to people’s wellbeing. 

For instance, Vicky commented; ‘If you’re going to ask if someone is okay, make sure you have the time to sit and listen. Sometimes we have a culture that wants to try and fix and wants to try and make it better, but most of the time people just want us to listen. This enables the person who is the talker to process and make sense which is hugely valale for our wellbeing, so just by actively listening, that’s often enough and can be really powerful.’

You can listen to the full conversation here, and if you want to find out how you can better support your employees contact us on helpline@theprintingcharity.org.uk or call 01293 542820. 

Happy staff, happy company – ways you can increase employee wellbeing

Happy staff, happy company – ways you can increase employee wellbeing

As a business owner, changes you make to improve the wellbeing of your employees is not only good for them, but good for business too. 

For instance, a recent study found that more than half (54%) of employees surveyed from around the world would consider leaving their job post-COVID-19 if they are not given some form of flexibility in where and when they work.

So what can you offer your staff that will make them happier, healthier and more productive? To help, we’ve compiled a list of easy ways to improve employee wellbeing. 

Flexible working

The pandemic has seen the greatest shift in remote working in living memory. With the rise of home-working, people have experienced the benefits of life without a commute. In fact, 85% of UK working adults currently homeworking, wanted to use a “hybrid” approach of both home and office working in future.

Some companies have even gone down from a normal Monday to Friday to a four day working week, like packaging supplier UPAC. While this certainly won’t work for every company, it can prove to boost productivity as well as job satisfaction, reducing burnout that can come with increased working hours in demanding roles.

Career goals

Helping employees to be open and think about their long-term career goals can be a great way to boost motivation as well as performance. 

If you’re a manager, why not talk with your employees to see what kind of personal development plans you can put in place and show that you’re there to support them in meeting their goals. You can help ensure there are opportunities for progression and the right training resources needed.  

Mental Health First Aiders

Training up Mental Health First Aiders in the workplace can help bring a greater understanding and awareness of mental health amongst your colleagues. Having a dedicated team member armed with the tools to correctly spot and support mental health concerns can make a huge difference to staff wellbeing, and company culture as a whole. 

Get in touch with Mental Health England who provide training and resources for mental health first aiders across the country. 

Resources for employees

There are a wealth of resources out there to boost employee wellbeing and provide access to physical and mental health support. 

Employers like packaging manufacturer Robinson, introduced Perkbox to their staff during the pandemic. The platform provides employees with access to private GPs as well as a helpline for any emotional concerns. These kinds of services are crucial for employees to feel supported, and need to be easily accessible to work best.

Our helpline

If you’re a SME, it might be tricky to dedicate the time required to employee wellbeing. This is why we offer support for every company in our sector through our helpline, no matter if you have 1000 staff or 10. It’s free to register, and provide you with the reassurance that you are supporting your employees with access to practical and emotional support 24/7.

Wellbeing at work – how our Helpline can support your staff

Wellbeing at work – how our Helpline can support your staff

Offering wellbeing support for your staff can help them to address any physical, emotional and mental health concerns they may have, and prevent personal issues from impacting on their work. With most people spending at least half of their day in the workplace, employee wellbeing needs to be taken seriously. 

How our Helpline supports your staff

Some employers might not know how to start offering wellbeing support, which is why we make it easy. Our free, confidential helpline is here to help the sector and its workforce any time. 

The helpline service provides both emotional and practical support. There are BACP counsellors providing in-the-moment emotional support 24 hours a day, every day of the year. For more practical advice and guidance, Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) trained advisers can help with a huge range of questions from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday, no matter how big or small. 

There are also supplementary tools alongside the Helpline, including AI chatbot Woebot, here to check in on your day to day feelings, and useful budgeting calculators to help manage your finances. 

Why should I support my staff’s wellbeing?

There are many benefits to registering your company for our Helpline. Offering wellbeing support for staff can help them to address any concerns they have before these issues impact on work and productivity. 

Sometimes people don’t want to ask for help at work as they might not feel comfortable raising certain issues with their employer. Providing an avenue to confidential advice  removes this barrier and gets people the help they need sooner. 

Accessible format printer Pia has been registered with the helpline over the last ten months and their Managing Director Sharon Williams is impressed with how useful it has been so far. 

“At Pia, we require a range of specialist skills to maintain our extremely high quality standards. To ensure we keep those skills, we need a stable, happy and productive workforce. Mental wellbeing has become even more important in recent times and the Helpline has been invaluable. As a small business owner, I could not provide the same level of professional support to my colleagues without it.”

Jon Tolley, Director at Prime Group, has had great feedback from his staff about the helpline too. Giving the team this kind support outside of the normal work environment gives them someone they can talk to confidentially to support their mental health” he explained. “We have had lots of our team use this service and it’s amazing what value it can bring back when they feel supported personally as well as at work.” 

Register your organisation for the Helpline

Access to the Helpline is completely free for individuals and companies in the print, paper, publishing and packaging industries. All we ask is that companies register with us first so that one of our dedicated Relationship Managers can help with the roll out. 
Fill in our online form to register your interest and we’ll get in touch with you.