As an organisation that is primarily centred around people, Ethos strongly values the wellbeing of employees and partners. It has consistently remained one of the three pillars of work within Ethos, along with work and place. From the start of the Young Leaders Kickstart programme , the wellbeing of our young people was considered paramount. We partnered with a highly experienced wellbeing practitioner, Claire Borer who helped us devise a scheme which offered them the opportunity to participate in 10 interactive sessions over 10 weeks exploring how the mind works..

Throughout the programme, Young Leaders meet for one hour on a weekly basis to explore how the psychological system works; why we sometimes feel that we can do anything and at other times it really looks like we can’t.  This understanding helps us navigate the tough times with greater ease and find more joy in the everyday.  As well as an opportunity for learning, the programme creates a space for groups of Young Leaders to speak freely about their wellbeing, share their stories and experiences, and learn from each other. This sense of community and focus on wellbeing is a principle that is immensely valued at Ethos, and the continuation of this programme is key to the growth of our organisation, especially now with the partnership with the Wellbeing Economy Alliance.

These sessions were run by the wonderful Claire Borer, who is vastly experienced in wellbeing practices in the workplace. As well as delivering the programme, Claire also participated and really allowed the sessions to be driven by discussion and learning. We spoke after the completion of the programme and Claire’s response to it’s success was extremely positive.

Claire Borer

Claire Borer

“As a facilitator of this programme I am always amazed and humbled at what is awakened in the Young Leaders who participate. The wisdom they share in the group discussions, the curiosity to question and the realisation that they are resilient, creative, wise and loving people.”

The importance of wellbeing, and learning as a people-focused community is something that Ethos takes pride in. The fact that even someone as experienced as Claire can learn from Young Leaders, as well as vice-versa, is a core principle of the Young Leaders ideology.

This programme is something that the Young Leaders initiative will take forward in all future cohorts. The multitude of ways in which the programme can benefit individuals as well as groups is clear and the sense of community, and the value placed on the wellbeing of Ethos employees and partners, is important to our organisation and the people who are part of it.

Below are the reflections of the individuals who participated in the programme, and the variety of lessons learned as well as the impact of the sessions is clear. Everything is looking positive and exciting for the future of this programme.

The program was a really brilliant summary of some difficult to grasp ideas. Having always had an interest in philosophy and self-help principles such as stoicism, gratitude and non-attachment, I think the programme problem presents these in a practical and digestible form which is imperative.

I always believed these concepts should be taught from a much younger age, as I personally only discovered them later in life after periods of my own turmoil and struggle. I would have saved myself a significant amount of stress if I had pragmatic coping strategies to manage low-periods. The programme attempts to deliver this, and I believe does a tremendous job. Anyone partaking in it will certainly learn something new, and again I think teaching this type of content to younger people couldn’t be more crucial. Mental health is more frequently tackled through intervention rather than prevention, and the program beautifully provides the latter which could be an invaluable experience for many.

Michael Galloway

Young Leader, Ethos VO Ltd

The programme is unlike anything I have experienced in a workplace. The fact that there is time and resources that go towards the wellbeing of employees is something that I think is definitely undervalued. It is always said that a happy worker is a hard worker, and I think that this programme truly shows that. Focusing on our wellbeing and learning about ourselves really highlights the importance of wellbeing within Ethos, and knowing that this is valued makes it easy to work hard and care about the causes that we work for.

We now live in a world where mental health is a huge societal focus, and this programme embraces that. I think that putting value on this and value on learning about psychological systems and innate wellbeing, is a great step forward to prepare people for dealing with these issues, even if they are not facing them right now. This preemptive learning can be just as valuable as we all deal with our own struggles at different times.

Milo Kirk

Young Leader, Ethos VO Ltd

I thought I knew everything I needed to know about Mental Health. But the programme gave me a different perspective on things that I feel I needed. Especially some of the visualisation exercises.

Connor Bradley

Young Leader, Ethos VO Ltd

I have to say they have been really fun and really get you thinking about our thoughts and feelings. It helped me realise where mine come from and how it impacts on the decisions we make. Well-being is an important balance to social life. There’s a saying that one of the strongest emotions that sets is back is fear. The fear of not being able to do things we are passionate about or self doubt. Fear stands for ‘False Evidence Appearing Real’.

Katie Morgan

Young Leader, Ethos VO Ltd

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time (on the programme). Claire has always been a very welcoming, calming presence and presents everything as factually and accurately as possible, while allowing us to be involved with every step of the process. I have suffered from Anxiety for a long time and found it immensely helpful. My personal interests in human psychology also completely aligned with what we collectively learnt during the sessions.

Huge thank you to Claire and everyone else who attended. I would highly recommend the sessions to ANYONE, even if you are coping just fine. There’s a little something for everyone.

Alex Brookes

Young Leader, Ethos VO Ltd

The sessions with Claire over the last ten weeks have been so insightful. I have loved every single one and they have truly opened up my mind to things I hadn’t realised before.

The analogy of the sun is one that will stick with me for life… the sun is always there but sometimes you can’t see it as it is covered by clouds just like how our well-being is always there by it gets covered. Learning that our well-being is always with us is a very comforting realisation despite it feeling absent a lot of the time.

I would recommend these sessions for anyone who is interested in exploring and developing a greater understanding of how powerful our mind really is and all the things that it does to keep our world spinning.

Lauren Binks

Young Leader, Ethos VO Ltd

My key takeaway from the entire series was definitely the point about false logic – it was a completely new perspective to understand. It’s made it much easier to accept that people will disagree with others and myself and that their false logic is still logic nonetheless – if I believed the earth was flat, I would have carried an anchor with me too.

Suki Bal

Young Leader, Ethos VO Ltd

Since starting the programme, Ethos has been accepted as a member of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance – an international group that unites different parts of the economy in a shared goal of an economy in service of people and the planet.