Post by Maddy Darvell:

Mental Health can affect anyone at any time and is a growing public health concern. It was estimated by the Mental Health Foundation that in the last week alone, 1 in 6 people experienced a common mental health problem.

To put this into perspective, at Express Vending we have 250 staff. If we were to consider the statistics provided, 41 members of our team may have struggled in the last week.

It is therefore important for companies to start doing their bit, something that many companies now recognise. Especially as there are many correlations between working conditions and increased mental ill health.

The ‘Thriving at Work’ Review by Stevenson & Farmer (2017) conducted an independent assessment of how employers can better support their staff. One of the recommendations was that businesses, regardless of their size should be:

“equipped with the awareness and tools to not only address but prevent mental ill-health caused or worsened by work; aware of how to get access to timely help”

At Express Vending we understand the importance of supporting our employees and thought, what better time to show this support by joining the Mental Health Foundation to raise awareness, provide information to our staff and fund-raise for Mental Health Awareness Week.

The theme for this year was Body Image and to promote this theme we arranged a smoothie sale, freshly made by our CSR Committee and a team bike ride (which got incredibly competitive).

Exercise is strongly linked to an improvement in depressive symptoms, so it was something we were incredibly keen to incorporate into the week, especially with them theme of Body Image! The idea was simple. For every KM cycled, Express Vending would donate £1.00. The team that contributed the most KM also received a prize!

In one day, the Express teams cycled a remarkable 477 KM (equivalent to us cycling from Hemel Hempstead to Amsterdam!)

We also used this as an opportunity to continue our support of DENS, a charity in our hometown of Hemel Hempstead, who support those facing homelessness, poverty and social exclusion. Supporting such a cause throughout this week had great relevance due to studies reporting a higher prevalence of mental health problems in the homeless population in comparison to the general population.

The response to the week was incredible and we really did get the discussion surrounding Mental Health flowing through the office.

On behalf of Express, we want to say a thank you to Nuffield Health St Albans for their support and provision of two spin bikes which enabled us to complete our race.

A special thanks to the CSR Committee who worked incredibly hard to organise the week.

And last but by no means least, a thank you to our incredible workforce who donated so generously and took part in an amazing week that brought all departments together.

In total we raised: £908.00 !

We really feel that here at Express, Mental Health Awareness Week is just the beginning. We are going to be planning regular events and workshops that focus on wellbeing in the workplace, ensuring our team have the information, knowledge and support for positive mental health.

The Mental Health Foundation were a great help in planning our week and provided us with excellent information to share with our staff.

To find out how you can support the week next year, head to their website. 

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