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Review of an exciting year and looking forward to 2020.

What a year it has been so far for us at Confidence to Return, I want to say a huge thank you to the forward thinking, trailblazer Corporate companies and the HR & L&D teams who have appointed me for my services this last year. I cannot thank you enough!

I initially began my business offering Parental Coaching, and have since expanded over the years as new employee issues became apparent to firms across the UK, which in turn has developed my business and my personal growth. I am always led by my clients and have continued to grow into areas following each varied request to support their teams.

This year, I have supported many working women employees, from their announcement all the way through to their return to work. This has been a mix of new parents and mothers who have gone on to have baby 2 (and in one case, baby 3!)  This Maternity Coaching programme lasts up to around a year and many sessions are carried out at employee’s homes.  

But not every pregnancy, (or delivery) is the same, I have supported employees from the aftermath of traumatic situations, including emergency caesareans, premature babies and sadly, miscarriage and still birth deaths. Being a resilience and trauma specialist, I have facilitated many employees to build their own resilience and have used EMDR Trauma Therapy to assist with faster healing a traumatic event.

I have also consulted firms and supported employees through a myriad of issues to help employers look after their people when they face crisis. Some of the areas include:


  • Employee Cancer Diagnosis (including terminal illness)
  • Anticipatory Grief (expected family bereavement)
  • Loss & Bereavement
  • Serious Child Illness
  • Sudden Death Syndrome
  • Child Bereavement
  • Abortion
  • Rape
  • Substance Issues (via loved ones)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Conception Issues
  • Anxiety Issues
  • Self-esteem and Self-Worth
  • Terrorist Attacks


I've also facilitated hours of sessions including my Employee Stress Management and Resilience as one-to-ones, along with group training sessions and Resilience for the HR Professional Team.

"Together we can support your workforce, whatever life throws at them"

Year Round-up: Let's a look at some of our biggest highlights this year

Speaking at the #MindTheGap Event

Amanda Wiper - Client Relations & Diversity Manager at Computer Features. Held in London on the 6th November alongside some inspirational female leaders who spoke on 'Could flexible working help close your Gender Pay Gap'. Because of my coaching in coaching employees. In was invited to share my recommendations to employers on how organisations can offer flexible working to retain employees – both male and female – following extended leave i.e. Maternity, Adoption, Paternity, Carers leave. A topic close to my heart. I was absolutely thrilled to have been asked once again to speak at the #MindTheGap event. Thank to those for coming to support us.

9-day Fortnight Flexible Working Scheme

After obtaining approval from my coachee's workplace, I am absolutely delighted to share more information on this to help RAISE more awareness on the '9-day fortnight' flexible working scheme. I really do believe this flexible working arrangement will become more of a mainstream option for new parents and those with caring responsibilities in the future. Take Kelly for example (one of my maternity employee coachee's), both she and her husband now take 2 days off a month, on alternate fortnights, so  they each can spend a full day with their daughter every other week. They both get extra time with their lovely daughter and see a cut in their child-care costs Join companies like this to demonstrate that you are an employer of choice by accommodating flexible working arrangements for new parents.

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: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lets-shout-louder-flexible-working-sandie-dennis/

Lessons in Employee Care

Earlier this year, the nation was shocked with the devastating news that Love Island's Mike Thalassitis and Prodigy Star Keith Flint had committed suicide by hanging themselves, due to the overwhelming pain they faced in their lives. See more here

As a trained Counsellor, Coach and EMDR Therapist it pains me that these men couldn’t get the support they needed, or maybe couldn’t face admitting to a family member or friend how low they really felt. It’s even more poignant that my niece saw one of the men, Mike Thalassitis out one Saturday night before the terribly sad incident happened. During my niece's conversation with Mike, she noted that at no point did he did look or seem like a man who would kill himself a week later! All of which prompted me to write a blog on my own personal family experience on 'How the aftermath of suicide rippled through generations'

Worse still, the beginning of a new year is also a peak time for suicides and suicide attempts, according to a recent study by the Morneau Shepell Research Group, which analyses health trends. Worryingly, 2018 saw the sharpest rise in suicide rates in 16 years. Our mental well-being is very fragile and the build-up of several stressful events can literally change our brain chemistry, if you notice or suspect an employee who is maybe, ‘smiling through their tears’, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Confidence to Return.

Personal Development at Dr David Hamilton's Workshop

How often do you take time for your personal development? Is it something that you enjoy? I have to be honest, I’m always adding to my own personal development as much as I can, not only for myself but to give the most up to date resources and techniques to my clients. Earlier in the year, I had the pleasure of attending a workshop by Dr David R Hamilton who wrote the excellent book, ‘How the Mind can Heal the Body’. It’s a book I often refer many of my clients to, so it was an absolute honour to have been at this incredible workshop. See more here.

Charity Ball - In Memory of Charlie Hainsworth

I attended a Charity Ball in memory of Charlie Hainsworth's, which was an incredible turn out. Charlie would of loved it. The Charity Ball was organised by Charlie's sister, with the support from Charlie's family, friends and coworkers, to fulfil her wish to continue fundraising, with all profits going to charity. Alex, Charlie’s sister raised an incredible £9,500 at the event which all went direct to Secondary 1st.

Charlie Hainsworth was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2017, aged 38, and was featured in NOW magazine to share her experience "There's more to life than my cancer". See more here.

Charlie's employer's 'Winkworth Sherwood' hired me to explain the prognosis of Charlie's illness to her teams and to provide my support. I also had the pleasure of working closely with Charlie to offer one-to-one support during the last year of her life. I feel incredibly honoured to have known you Charlie, what an inspiration you are.

HR, Group & Stress Resilience Training

I've had the wonderful pleasure in facilitating Stress Resilience one-to-one's, group training and bespoke HR training this year. Employers (...and employees) really do take a lot away from it.

On one particular occasion, I spoke about to support employees and HR on traumatic issues.

Life is full of challenges that don’t magically disappear when we come to work. That’s why stress management and resilience are increasingly important skills to have in the workplace.

In today’s fast-paced business world, it is crucial to be able to recognise early stress warning signs in your employees, and to cultivate a ‘toolkit’ of supportive techniques that also allow you to develop personal resilience.

To help you do this, we offer varied levels of training in two specific areas:

Employee Stress Management and Resilience

Resilience for the HR Professional

Delivered on a one-to-one or team basis, our interactive workshops cover a wide range of topics that will help you face the challenges of change head on, whilst taking good care of your (and your team’s) wellbeing. See here for more information.

Bereavement & Family Support

Dealing with health issues can be incredibly tough on the whole family. For instance, this year I have supported several employees whose children suffered from some serious health issues. One employee's daughter has a brain tumour, all whilst battling an eating disorder at the same time. In addition, I also supported a client whose loved ones had several drug and alcohol related addictions.

All very different cases, but it's wonderful to see the end results for all of my employee and employer coachees. During Q4, I also offered my support to another child bereavement case to someone in Glasgow until the EMDR specialist becomes available in January!

If you know someone who is battling depression, anxiety, addictions, disorders, traumatic loss, I provide one-to-one coaching as well as EMDR therapy, which is incredibly effective. See here for more information.

Women's Aid Charity Gala

What an inspirational evening this was earlier this year! I had a chance to chat with Spice Girl Mel B who hosted the Women's Aid spectacular charity gala dinner, along with actress Julie Walters. The aim of the evening was to raise funds and awareness for this important cause in advance of International Women’s Day.

'Survivors' of domestic abuse modelled garments that were auctioned to raise money for Women's Aid. The charity is at the forefront of shaping and coordinating responses to domestic violence and abuse against women and children.

I spoke to Mel about my role as an EMDR therapist as she underwent a course of this new therapy and says it helped her overcome her personal trauma. I told her about the LinkedIn article I wrote recently highlighting her domestic abuse and recovery. See my blog here..

I also met the CEO of RBWA refuge, Charlotte Kneer who helps women and children escaping abuse. Her work is featured in the Channel 4 Dispatches programme "Safe at Last: Inside a Women's Refuge", which Julie Waters narrates. To read my LinkedIn article about Mel B see here.

An Evening with Dr Michael Mosley

What a great night this was earlier in the year - ‘An evening with Dr Michael Mosley’ his take on health and well-being. I got to meet him after and discuss how I support employees using Mindful based techniques and its effect on mental well-being. What an accolade for him to say, that I was totally on track and to keep up the good work.

Life of a Busy Working Mum

‘This Morning’ covered a feature a couple of weeks ago where busy working mum, Jo Jakeman suffered a stroke due to stress!

‘...she knew she was pushing herself too hard to be 'the best mother she could be'. But what she didn't realise is just how badly the stress was affecting her health.

The life of a busy working mum is non-stop - from the school run, cooking for the family, working late in the office and keeping on top of the housework.’

With all my corporate employee clients I always opening discuss the long term effects of stress, especially on the body. Along with building self-awareness and adding lots of techniques clients are able to reduce stress and prevent being on long-term sick leave. Contact me for more information on how I can support your employees who are displaying signs of being overwhelmed at work.

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.



 

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