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The Leeds Mindful Employer Conference is just days away.   We are extremely proud that that this conference is free to intend.  This has been made possible thanks to the generosity of our hosts at Leeds Beckett University and local businesses from the third and private sector who have chosen to sponsor this important event.

Leigh Staunton has been catching up with the local businesses who have demonstrated their commitment to positive mental health by becoming sponsors of “Creating Mentally Healthy Workplaces for All”.

A huge thank you to Barca, Hippo Digital, and Touchstone! We couldn’t have achieved this without your support.


Why did your business make the decision to sponsor our conference, “Creating Mentally Healthy Workplaces for All?”


Barca-Leeds is an innovative charity providing a wide range of services in Leeds. Founded in 1994, we deliver transformational services to adults, children, young people & families. Our services help people to overcome the barriers they face, are person-centred, asset based and aspirational to help meet the needs of children, young people and adults at different stages of their lives. Our services include Employability & Community Health provision.

We are delighted that this conference is taking place to provide a focus on creating mentally healthy workplaces – it is just the kind of ‘up-stream’ activity that needs to happen to help prevent any initial problems becoming entrenched and harder to deal with later down the line. It also aligns with our organisational mission and ethos.

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Hippo Digital:

We have been a Mindful Employer Signatory for the last few years and have witnessed the fantastic work done by staff and volunteers to upskill and encourage organisations across Leeds to put strategies in place that focus on workplace mental health and wellbeing. The mental health and wellbeing of staff in any organisation is so important and sponsoring the conference means we’re able to support our Leeds community and local economy as a whole instead of just focussing on what Hippo is doing. The sponsorship also means that the conference was able to offer tickets for free which creates equal learning opportunities for all, and we love that!

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At, we believe that employee mental health shouldn’t be an afterthought but instead at the centre of everything we do. Treating wellbeing as a “nice-to-have” isn’t enough. We recognise the impact work has on both personal and professional lives and the importance of taking proactive steps to create a positive and supportive environment. By championing wellbeing as an integral part of our company culture, we’re not just investing in our employees; we’re investing in our future.

Joining the Mindful Employer network was a turning point. We found a supportive community of local businesses who share our commitment to positive mental health at work. The network’s expertise and resources, as well as the support and guidance, have been instrumental in shaping our wellbeing strategy.

Sponsoring this conference extends our commitment to supporting mental health at work. We see it as an opportunity to actively invest in our team’s wellbeing and our local community. The Mindful Employer Network’s positive impact is undeniable, and we’re proud to support its mission of creating mentally healthy workplaces for all. sponsor scaled


As a mental health charity, Touchstone are dedicated to creating an inclusive and supportive workplace, free from mental health stigma, and are committed to assisting other organisations to do the same.

We are pleased to sponsor the Mindful Employers’ conference, as it firmly aligns with Touchstone’s values and commitment to fostering environments where all employees can thrive to be their very best.

We are excited to be working in partnership with Mindful Employers and other similar organisations on this conference to share expertise in creating inclusive workplace cultures and supporting others to do the same.

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What are you most looking forward to about this event?


Well done to Leeds Mind, we hope that this area of work continues to develop from strength to strength. We are looking forward to the interactions on the day and how the synergy of an event like this can bring about improvements and change for the better.

Hippo Digital:

The variety of topics being covered by diverse speakers and a range of businesses is something that is hard to provide at one event, but the way the sessions have been organised means we’re able to get as much information as possible with time to reflect throughout the day too. Having the ability to network with other organisations, share best practice and learn from one another to understand what gaps we might have and where we are doing well will be beneficial also in how we develop our wellbeing strategy and promote good mental health within Hippo. It will be a chance to look at the intersection of mental health and diversity with positive actions we can learn from and it’s only fair every organisation in Leeds gets the opportunity to do the same.

We look forward to hearing from leading experts and expanding our understanding of mental health initiatives and best practices. Gaining insight from their experience will help us continually improve our wellbeing strategy and provide our team with the support they deserve.

The conference is also a fantastic opportunity to connect with other like-minded businesses and organisations that share our passion for better mental health. We’re looking forward to sharing our ideas, our successes and collaborating on solutions to promote mental wellbeing in the workplace.


We are looking forward to learning about best practice taking place across Leeds and reflecting on the positive and practical changes we can make to our workplace, alongside colleagues and partners. We are also excited to connect with other local organisations to share expertise and resources on how we can create healthy working environments for everyone in our city.

We are particularly excited to host our workshops during the day and explore themes, such as creating an anti-stigma workplace culture and setting up staff peer support groups, with attendees.

Why is prioritising positive mental health and wellbeing at work important for your business? What are you most proud of in your business’ approach?


At Barca-Leeds we have a whole range of initiatives to create a supportive workplace culture that aims to provide early help and support so that individual employees can get assistance early on which impacts positively on our whole service provision. We have identified a number of elements in our approach including:

  • Trust in the leadership
  • Continuous recognition
  • Feeling valued by manager and organisation
  • Culture of motivation and commitment
  • Staff teach, learn from and influence each other as they work together across teams
  • Staff groups set the tone & encourage staff voice

Three staff groups have created an agenda for action within our organisation to manifest our culture and ethos in action – for example this has resulted in us setting up a staff carers support group, numerous actions from the Barca-Minds group, an annual Ramadan fasting day and shared meal, and many more examples. We are most proud and excited to have been named in the top 5 employers for Investors in People (third sector) nationally, a result that came from the assessment evidence of our employer focussed strategy and direct feedback from staff members.

Hippo Digital:

Wellbeing is not only the right thing to support, but it also means people are able to approach work with a positive mindset, build long term working relationships and feel valued by the company. A mentally healthy workforce is one that is creative and enthusiastic, with the confidence to never feel judged. As a consultancy we work with an array of service users and other organisations and so it’s not just about Hippos, it’s about looking out for everyone we interact with on a day to day basis and that very much aligns with our human centred approach to service design and delivery. We have mental health first aiders across the company and regularly share information as part of awareness days whether that’s around our EAP or private medical insurance offerings, resources staff have found useful or knowledge from an external source as a lunch & learn.

Everyone can experience mental health challenges, yet many people struggle to share their experiences due to lingering stigma. This means that mental health is often overlooked, marginalised and even penalised in some workplaces. By creating a supportive environment where employees feel comfortable seeking help, we can break down stigma and provide our team with the support and resources they need.

We believe in proactive prevention and creating a safe space for each employee to thrive. During inductions, we clearly communicate that employee mental health is our top priority. Matt Wheeler and myself (Sam Taylor) lead by example by sharing our experiences. This transparency can help to normalise conversations and demonstrates our genuine commitment to supporting mental health.

We empower our team through a supportive and empathetic culture so that our team can reach out to us without fear of judgement. We also consistently address mental health at work through monthly check-ins and quarterly face-to-face sessions. Beyond formal discussions, we have monthly work socials. These relaxed, out-of-office socials help our team to connect and have conversations beyond work matters, such as mental health.


At Touchstone, we fundamentally believe that people will perform better at work – and are more likely to be physically and mentally well – if they are supported to be their true selves.

From a business perspective, prioritising positive mental health and wellbeing at work leads to increased productivity and service outcomes and improved staff morale and satisfaction.

It also attracts and retains staff members with lived experience of mental health, who are huge assets to our services and enable us to grow and develop our person-centred approach to supporting service-users.

We are immensely proud of creating a workplace environment, where staff with mental health lived experience can thrive and become leaders.


Find out more about this fantastic conference, including our amazing speakers.


Join the Leeds Mindful Employer Network.


Add yourself to the waitlist for our Conference on the 21st May.

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