Wellbeing Wednesday 31st August 2022

Jane Fowler – Head of Customer Support Services

Hello everyone – it’s Wednesday again!

If you have been reading WBW over the months, you’ll know that I have a bit of a passion for my garden and being outdoors.  Well here’s a new experience to share with you – the amazing sensation of walking barefoot on warm, deep moss! (Doesn’t matter if the moss is wet, as long as it’s warm).  OK so you have to watch for brambles (I was picking some at the time – see later recipe) and check for ticks, but hey – no pain, no gain as they say.  It is such a lovely feeling – give it a go; there’s plenty moss around Argyll.

This week we are giving you an update on all the great features of our employee assistant programme, which is free for all of you to use, whether you are at work at the moment or not.  And family members aged 16-24 can also take advantage of it. So please don’t miss out – this service is for you.  And please let us know at wellbeing@argyll-bute.gov.uk what your experience of it is. It helps us to make sure we focus our resources in the best place to support you.

And as we move into autumn, our team have come up with some tasty recipes for autumn flavour, so get out there and pick your brambles (moss walking optional) – they are free, tasty and healthy – and try out a crumble.  We’d also love to hear if you have any autumn recipes you would recommend.

Finally – no reading update unless you want to know about Kolb’s experiential learning model or the Kirkpatrick model of learning and development evaluation…..

See you next week

Employee Assistance Programme

Many of you will already be aware that the Council has an employee assistance programme, which is delivered by Health Assured, but this week we want to take the opportunity to highlight some new content and remind you of all the resources available through this platform.

The Employee Assistance Programme is provided by Health Assured who offer independent confidential support and information.  Balancing everyday life with the requirements of work and home can create pressures for us all.  In addition, the ever changing demands being placed upon us by the coronavirus pandemic has created additional pressures and can have a negative impact on our wellbeing.

Health Assured  are an independent, external organisation who provide the Employee Counselling Service. 

Health Assured can help you manage your emotional health providing support, guidance and information on dealing with anxiety, depression and stress.  Your physical health including any conditions relating to this and life support which provides guidance and help relating to any financial or legal worries you or your immediate family may have.

Health Assured have fully trained counsellors available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  If the service is accessed via the online link below, under the ‘contact us’ heading there is the option to use live chat where you can chat to the advisor without speaking in person.

This service is available to all employees, their spouses or partners and their dependents aged 16-24 if they are in full time education. You do not need to be at work to access this employee benefit.

You can access the service directly or by telephoning 0800 028 0199 or by downloading the app via Apple Store or Play Store for Android devices.  Contact the Wellbeing Team to get a username and password: wellbeing@argyll-bute.gov.uk

It takes two minutes to download the app on to your smart device and it’s there for when you need it.

Health Assured Webinars

Health Assured’s vision is to support individuals and organisations and build resilience through raising awareness of wellbeing, particularly mental wellbeing.  They have developed a library of e-coaching programmes to enhance understanding of wellbeing issues. They also release monthly webinars on a range of wellbeing topics and this month these include:

  • Coping with criticism
  • Complex Mental health
  • Winter Wellbeing and
  • The Basics of Money Management

Webinars | Health Assured (healthassuredeap.co.uk)

We are also passing on some Autumnal recipes to make good use of the fruits and vegetables in season at the moment:

Broccoli and Black Bean Curry


  • 1 medium broccoli
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely grated fresh root ginger
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cuminseeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 200g/7oz chopped tomatoes, from a tin
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt, plus extra to season
  • 400g tin black beans, not drained
  • Squeeze lemon or lime juice


  1. Add broccoli to a pan of boiling water.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and gently fry the onion for 4–5 minutes, or until softened and lightly coloured, stirring regularly. Add the ginger, chilli flakes, coriander, cumin and turmeric and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the tomatoes and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes more over a medium heat, stirring regularly. Remove from the heat and blend with a stick blender until smooth. Drain the broccoli.
  3. Return to the heat, add the black beans with their liquid and drained broccoli, season with a squeeze of lime or lemon juice and more salt if needed, then simmer for another 2–3 minutes, or until the curry is hot, stirring regularly.
  4. Serve with rice and Naan bread if desired.

Bramble and Apple Crumble


For the filling

  • 900g/2lb apples
  • 350-400g/12oz-1lb brambles
  • 175g/6oz demerara sugar
  • 2 lemons

For the topping

  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • 175g/6oz butter
  • 55g/2oz demerara sugar
  • 125g/4oz muesli or a mixture of oats, seeds and chopped nuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  2. Peel, core and chop the apples into small chunks. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice over the apple and mix well. This not only adds flavour but prevents the freshly peeled apples from discolouring.
  3. Layer the apples, brambles, and sugar in a large pie dish (a lasagne dish is ideal).
  4. Place the flour in a large bowl and then rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs – leave a few lumps of butter so that the topping is not too fine. Add the muesli or oat/seed/nut mixture and the sugar and mix through.
  5. Use a spoon to sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the fruit. Bake for 45 minutes or until the fruit is cooked and bubbling juices seep through the topping.
  6. Cool for a few minutes and then serve with custard and/or fresh cream.

Please let us know your thoughts and ideas about the items featured in our Wellbeing Wednesdays each week and send us your suggestions for future topics – we love to hear from you.  wellbeing@argyll-bute.gov.uk