When I was planning my business for 2018, I never anticipated just what an exciting 12 months I would have, both personally and professionally. A lot has happened, and some of it is thanks to Confidence To Return’s loyal clients, along with associates and contacts recommending our services.
Since this time last year, I’ve appeared on national television and was honoured to be invited to speak in the House of Commons. I’ve also been supporting scores of employees through personal challenges after becoming parents (and on returning to work), or helping them to find a way forward after bereavement, loss or trauma; I’ve collaborated with several HR Consultancy firms, including HR Dept and Porter HR, and I’ve undergone some new training to be able to offer a wonderful new therapy to support employees even further.
I ended 2017 appearing on national television on Christmas Day singing with my choir, alongside two international stars. The House Gospel Choir were commissioned by the BBC to not only to perform a song themselves, but to sing backing vocals for Sir Tom Jones, Beverley Knight, Jessie Ware and newcomer Kwabs. A total of six songs were filmed in Cardiff with a studio audience. It was a thrilling experience and many people across the world congratulated me when I posted about it on my social media (follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter).
Speaking in The House of Commons
Who would have thought that I would follow in my Nan’s footsteps moving in political circles, when I gave my speech at Westminster at the #MindTheGap – Returners to Work event. Because of my expertise in coaching employees on returning to work after a baby, an illness, bereavement or a trauma, I was invited to share my recommendations to employers on how to increase and manage their Returners to Work and the impact this could have on the gender pay gap.
I started my speech by mentioning my Nan, who would've been so proud of me making a speech at Westminster, as she worked for the Conservative Club until she retired in 1980.
As a child, I heard her talking about the MPs and Lords she'd met, in particular a woman called Margaret, who invited her for tea at 'no 10'!
Supporting TV Show’s Campaign Highlighting Male Suicide
As a coach and therapist who specialises in supporting people through bereavement and serious illness, I fully supported This Morning’s hard-hitting campaign highlighting male suicides. The ITV programme unveiled 84 statues on top of the ITV building roof earlier in the year. The statues represented the 84 men in the UK who die by suicide each week. It means one life is lost every two hours, and male suicide continues to be the biggest killer of men under 45. As an employer or HR professional, you can take positive steps to protect those most at risk in your workplace. At Confidence To Return, we have the skills and expertise to offer valuable support in this field.
It raises the question “could I have done anything to prevent it?” We believe that suicide prevention is everyone’s business. Read our Pulse article on LinkedIn.
Supporting Your Employees Through Grief
In the last year, I’ve supported many employees who have experienced the loss of a loved one and facilitated phased returns back to work and conducted training sessions, including announcing to an employee’s team of 40 people of her terminal cancer diagnosisand trained her team on how to deal with their emotions and how to communicate with their colleague (sadly their colleague died in late September). I’ve written a blog about my journey and in memory to Charlie Hainsworth (pictured above). Read it now by clicking here.
In-Work Support Programme
In the course of working for various companies, we’ve found a need to support employees who may be struggling to cope in work after a traumatic or shocking experience. To help meet this need, we have introduced our new In-Work Support Programme. It allows us to help your employees in crisis to recognise their trauma, loss and grief and give them ways to cope and move forward while still in the workplace. For details click here.
The #MeToo Campaign
Many local and international names were in the headlines accused of sexual misdemeanours during the last year, instigating the launch of the #MeToo campaign, which went viral on social media. The movement against sexual harassment and assault, especially in the workplace, led to a rush of new enquiries about Confidence To Return’s services from various companies. Among those we helped was a young employee who needed to repair her self-worth after she was groped at an office party.
Parenthood and Maternity
In April, we all welcomed a new royal baby into the world, Prince William and Kate Middleton's third child, Prince Louis Arthur Charles. Becoming a parent, even third time around, brings fresh challenges. At Confidence To Return we’ve supported many new parents successfully through the transition of parenthood and going back to work, as several testimonials confirm. See: http://www.confidencetoreturn....
I also facilitated a maternity Mentor to enhance a law firm, and I've sadly supported employees who have had the heartbreak of finding out they cannot have children or have pregnancy and birth issues.
Shared Parental Leave (SPL)
My House of Commons speaking engagement led to others. In July where I was one of the two main speakers at the inaugural lunch event of the Women Lawyers and Mothers’ network, where I gave a presentation on ‘Parental leave – is there a solution?’ to a packed audience at Bird&Bird LLP. This resulted in Confidence To Return being mentioned in the media. See now.
In my speech I used Confidence to Return case studies to show why a flexible approach works, for the employer as well as the new mum. Two ways of tackling this is are Shared Parental Leave and the 9-day fortnight both subjects of my recent Pulse articles on LinkedIn.
People are seeking a different work /life balance for all sorts of reasons. At Confidence to Return, returning to work is our business and we believe we need to keep this #flexibleworking conversation growing, and make it louder. Read our Pulse on the subject and this other one.
Successful results from EMDR
It’s important to keep growing your skills and during the year I extended my training by becoming an EDMR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) accredited practitioner, with EMDR Centre London. This new psychotherapy already seems to be helping some of my client’s employees. For example, I used my new EMDR training, to give a young female employee more resources to help her through her trauma of being a witness in a serious court case. She responded well. I also supported another employee, helping her to let go and move forward from her crippling grief. As I can support employees from start to finish, I am looking forward to seeing final outcome for these women. We use a compassionate and understanding approach to support your teams. See now.
It just leaves us space to wish you all the best over festive period and a very happy New Year.
If you need Confidence To Return’s Service in 2019, just get in touch.