Go Green is Happy & Healthy for Healthy City Week!

Published on .

The Go Green Happy & Healthy Business Breakfast for October took place as part of Bristol’s first ever Healthy City Week. Taking part in sport brings multiple benefits for mind and body so what better place to explore these themes than the newly renovated Ashton Gate Stadium!

Mark Kelly from Ashton Gate Stadium and Amy McCormack from ETM Recycling spoke about the stadium’s drive to be zero waste to landfill by the start of the 2016 season, see Amy’s slides with further information.

It was interesting to hear how the focus is on educating fans to segregate the waste at source and bulking the waste on site, therefore reducing the need for transportation.  The aim is that food waste from the stadium will be used to power Bristol’s ‘Poo Bus’, keeping the waste in the city.

Amy Nicholass, Go Green Project Manager, highlighted why wellbeing is important to sustainability, pointing to the recently launched Sustainable Development Goals and what businesses can do to support these. See the PwC report  for further details.  Membership organisation, Business in the Community, has developed the BITC Wellbeing campaign to support businesses in improving their approach to employee wellbeing.

Amy also pointed out that businesses have identified that there is a soft skills gap in the UK workforce, as highlighted by a recent report.  These skills, such as communication, team working and self-management, can be nurtured and encouraged through wellbeing initiatives and community outreach projects such as the My Wild Street initiative run in collaboration between Burges Salmon and Avon Wildlife Trust.  Other wellbeing initiatives that have been launched this year and that relate to actions in the Go Green Happy & Healthy theme, are the The Greater Bristol Pollinator Strategy and The Bristol Manifesto for Race Equality.

Darren Hall from Love The Future told us that businesses can hire the best staff outside of London because of the high quality of life that Bristol has to offer.  He explained what Love The Future are doing to continue the legacy of the European Green Capital year, ensuring that Bristol becomes a low carbon city with a high quality of life for all.

Love The Future short film

Keith Winestein from Time To Change wants to get people talking about mental health in Bristol and believes that ‘a journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single conversation’.  Time to Change is the largest initiative tackling mental health stigma.  Keith encouraged us to take part in Time To Talk Day, 4th February 2016 and help show that Bristol has the most talkative people in the country!

There is a business case for ensuring that mental health of employees is a priority. What can businesses do?

1. Sign your organisation up to the Time To Change Pledge.

2. Look at your organisation’s mental health policies and check they are fit for purpose and that employees are made aware of the support available to them.

3. Become a Time to Change Employee Champion and receive support to instigate initiatives to improve the wellbeing of your fellow employees.

Nicola Rich and Anne Sheekey from Workplace Wellbeing gave some background to how their Workplace Wellbeing Pack came about.

Nicola from Stride Treglown told us that research suggests that 40% of our wellbeing is down to our personal outlook on life and the activities we do.  As a result, there is a great deal we can do to improve our wellbeing, much of which could be influenced by the workplace.  This led Nicola to start conversations with staff at Stride Treglown about what made them feel mentally well and happy and staff were invited to create a photo wall.  This provided an insight into their collective interests and provided ideas for workplace activities that didn’t cost much money, such as creating a wildflower strip, staff allotments and introducing yoga classes.

The activities soon needed a framework to structure them which was more evidence based. Nicola then discovered the ‘5 ways to Wellbeing‘ that highlighted the five areas in which people who thrive, are really active.  This bottom-up approach of staff coming forward with ideas, leading to increased staff engagement, resulted in top-down investment  into wellbeing from management.

Anne from ATTIC Tea highlighted how traditional workplace health packages appeal only to those already living a healthy lifestyle and that activities need to be fun, educational and lead to changes that are realistic for the workplace to adopt, such as turning to healthier, more beneficial drink options during breaks.

Ben Breeze from Bristol Rugby Community Foundation, took us on a personal journey of life after being a professional rugby player. How he took his passion for sport, a desire to do good and a bag of rugby balls and over the years turned that into a very successful community outreach programme with multiple national and regional awards, engaging over 15,000 young people a year.  The programme is needs-driven and outcome based and aims to evoke change in other parts of the curriculum.

Ben’s team also work with Lansdown Club member businesses to provide mentoring, reading and fund raising activities that support local young people.

Ben quoted that 61% of young professionals viewed volunteer opportunities as a factor when looking for a place of work, so supporting your staff to gain these experiences is good for recruitment as well as existing staff.

Natalie Fee from City to Sea rounded off the morning and gave an impassioned plea about stemming the tide on marine plastic pollution by urging us to support Refill Bristol, a campaign to make Bristol a city in which refilling your water bottle with our glorious and free tap water, becomes the cultural norm. Businesses can also benefit from the free Go Green Plastic Guide.


We had a great range of Happy & Healthy stallholders and their ever engaging 60-second pitches:

John Hardwick – More From Coaching
Nicola Rich – Bristol Mind
Nicola Rich & Anne Sheekey – Workplace Wellbeing
Anabelle Hunt – FRANK Water
Dr Rosy Daniel & Katie Despres – Health Creation Ltd
Jane Ginnever – Shift Consultancy Ltd
Nicola Waterworth & Danielle Sellwood – Women’s Sport Trust
Julie Doherty – Avon Wildlife Trust