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“It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it”

Reflections on developing staff wellbeing approaches at The Swan Song Project


A blog for Mindful Employer Leeds by Geraldine Montgomerie, Partnerships and Engagement Manager

Last month I started a new role at the Swan Song Project, a five-year-old Leeds-based charity, writing songs with people facing the end of life or dealing with bereavement. Part of my role is strengthening and building our capacity, developing new partnerships and referral routes and one of my first priorities is ensuring the wellbeing of our team and participants is at the centre of what we do.

For me, the first stage has been understanding our strengths and values – in the pandemic we have had to change a lot of what we do but some things will never change.

The second stage has been listening to people we work with and understanding what they have found difficult and what we have been doing that works.

The third stage has been listening to and learning from others – from similar organisations (small arts and health charities) to organisations and networks interested in workplace wellbeing.

Finally, with support of the Leeds Mindful Employers Network and their “10 Step Toolkit”, I have developed an action plan that has been adapted to fit our organisation and its needs. Although we have not previously written down our approach to staff wellbeing it is clear that our organisation has taken more of the “10 Steps” than I at first realised… but as our capacity and team grows bigger I am committed to continually returning to these different stages as part of everyday practice. As Laura McCullach at Leeds Mindful Employers Network said to me today “It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it” and that’s what gets results!

Click here to find out more about Leeds Mindful Employer.

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