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Wellbeing Wednesday – 14 January 2022

Jane Fowler

Jane Fowler – Head of Customer Support Services

Hello and Happy 2022 to you all. I hope that you managed to spend some time recharging your batteries during the break. And a huge thanks to all of you who were keeping our essential services going through the festive period – I hope that you too have managed to get some time to rest and recharge.

A New Year is a different experience for each of us. An opportunity for a new start? Time to put those resolutions into practice? Makes little difference, it’s just another month? Whatever your thoughts about new year, I hope that you find a place for your wellbeing somewhere in your thinking and set yourself up for a positive, healthy 2022.

One of the highest priorities for all our wellbeing at the moment is making sure that we are fully Covid vaccinated. More and more evidence and data is being published that shows the positive benefits being vaccinated has on our bodies’ response to Covid infection. This is important for everyone, but particularly if you are pregnant. We have updated our information on vaccinations which you can read about on the employee website here, so please, if you have any worries or concerns, take the opportunity to speak with someone who can support you.

This week we are covering a couple of topics. The first, Dry January, gives us the opportunity to reduce our alcohol intake, after a festive period where those of us who drink alcohol, may have increased our consumption. Alcohol is such an integral part of our culture at both Christmas and New Year, that when coupled with time off work, it is easy to slip into the habit of drinking every day. Coming back to work can be the catalyst to drop back our alcohol consumption again, but for some of us that is just not so easy, particularly if there are other pressures affecting us. Have a look at the links and tips that can give you an insight into your own relationship with alcohol – it may just help to set that balance straight again,.

We are also showcasing a new Mental Health Service called Able Futures. This is a service that provides support to you on a free and confidential basis for up to 9 months from a mental health professional. It complements our Employee Assistance Programme, which gives shorter periods of support and is another important part of our support for you.

As always, I hope you find something of interest today and look forward to seeing you again for our 1 Year Anniversary Edition next week!

Dry January

Dry January is an initiative that was originally started in 2012 by Alcohol Change UK in order to get people to see the mental, physical and financial benefits of living without alcohol.

It provides us with an opportunity to review our relationship with alcohol and how much we may have come to rely on it.  If the thought of not being able to get through a month, or even a week, without alcohol, what is it that is driving your need for a drink?

For some, giving up alcohol for a month is an opportunity to sample sobriety without having to consider giving up alcohol forever and to review how you feel when you are not drinking.  You may find you are sleeping better, may feel less anxious and sluggish in the mornings and that you are spending less money. If so, you may want to consider continuing to refrain from alcohol for a longer period, or limit it to weekends or social occasions, or whatever suits you.

Dry January is your chance for a break and to reset your body during one month without alcohol. Relax with a bath rather than a bottle. Throw off the sluggishness and reclaim your mornings. Shake off your funk and make time for that hobby you’ve missed. See your skin get brighter, your wallet fuller, your days busier. Feel your step get bouncier, your mind calmer, your nights sleepier.

Dry January isn’t about just giving something up, it’s about getting something back. Get your fun back. Get your calm back. Get your energy back. Get your “you” back.

What type of drinker are you?  Take the quiz to find out more about your drinking habits: What’s your drinking personality?

Download the app for Dry January to help you keep you alcohol free this month and to help monitor your intake for the rest of the year.

TRY DRY: The Dry January app on the App Store (

TRY DRY: The app for Dry January and beyond – Apps on Google Play

For more information: Dry January 2022 (

If you are worried about your drinking and how it is affecting your relationships or you are worried about how a loved one’s drinking is affecting you, you can obtain confidential advice and support from the employee assistance programme and Health Assured by calling 0800 030 5182 or by visiting the Health Assured Portal

You can also contact the national helpline: Alcoholics Anonymous Great Britain (

If you are worried that alcohol or another addiction may be affecting your performance at work, support is available via the councils Addiction Policy and Procedure.  You can access a copy via The Hub or by contacting your line manager or the Wellbeing Team.

Introducing Able Futures: Access to Work Mental Health Support Service

Your health and wellbeing at work is our highest priority and we are always looking for ways we can enhance the support we provide. That’s why we’ve recently partnered with Able Futures.

Able Futures delivers the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service which can give you a mental health professional to talk to about whatever is on your mind.

There’s no charge to use the service and, over nine months, support from Able Futures can help you learn how to take care of yourself so can feel more able to tackle issues, feel better and learn new ways to manage your mental health throughout the ups and downs of life. 

When there is something on your mind that is affecting the way you feel, you can contact us for support.

If you are experiencing issues such as anxiety, depression or stress, or are struggling to deal with problems such as debt, disrupted sleep or relationship breakdowns that may be affecting your mental health, Able Futures could give you support from a mental health professional who will help you make a plan to help your mental health, so you can feel better and have more good days.

Support from Able Futures is available over the phone, video calls and through email. There’s no waiting list and it’s a completely confidential service. Able Futures won’t inform us, your colleagues, family or friends that you have accessed the service.

If you feel you could benefit from some support with your mental health and wellbeing, call Able Futures on 0800 321 3137 or visit Able Futures to find out more about the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service and sign up online.

The Wellbeing Team: