Ark Conway Primary Academy achieves Gold at workplace wellbeing awards

Ark Conway Primary Academy in Hammersmith has been recognised at an awards ceremony for its commitment to workplace wellbeing. The school were awarded Gold in Mind’s inaugural Workplace Wellbeing Index, which shows they are achieving excellence within their workplace.

The event took place at London’s Soho Hotel, hosted by TV presenter, author and Mind Ambassador, Anna Williamson. Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index is a benchmark of best policy and practice. It is designed to celebrate the good work employers are doing to promote and support positive mental health, and to provide key recommendations on the specific areas where there is room to improve. Conway shared top honours with the Environment Agency. Among the silver and bronze winners were well-known organisations such as Deloitte LLP, Lendlease, and Jaguar Land Rover. 

Ark Conway’s current approach to promoting mental health and wellbeing to their staff of around 30 people is built into their Mental Capital and Wellbeing Five Way Minimum offer, based on the New Economics Foundation’s 'Five Ways to Wellbeing'.

Some of the highlights include providing dedicated self-directed time at the end of each day (from 4pm) so that staff can choose how to manage their own workload enabling them to schedule their work around commitments with friends and/or family; providing all staff members with a fitness tracker band and dedicated non-contact time for a self-chosen area of learning.

Ark Conway’s offer also acts as a tool for starting conversation around the importance of mental health. Staff share concerns regarding their mental health with a member of staff who they feel comfortable with, usually a peer or their line manager. The leadership team operate an 'open door' policy so staff can approach their manager for support and advice. Ark Conway delivers weekly five-minute standing meetings where staff can discuss how they are feeling and the strategies they are taking to sustain a positive wellbeing.

Lois Osborne, Head of School at Ark Conway Primary Academy said: “Ark Conway Primary Academy is delighted their commitment to ensuring workplace wellbeing has been recognised in Mind's first Workplace Wellbeing Index. We still feel we are at the start of our journey but we know employers have a responsibility to promote workplace wellbeing and prevent poor mental health. Our commitment to workplace wellbeing means we're on the right track to better support our staff."

Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind, said: “In the last few years, we’ve seen employers make great strides when it comes to tackling stress and supporting the mental wellbeing of their staff, including those with a diagnosed mental health problem. We’re delighted to recognise and celebrate employers making mental health a priority for their organisation through our Workplace Wellbeing Index. In our first year, we’ve seen good practice right across the board, from each and every one of the thirty pioneering employers to take part.

“The Awards event provided an opportunity to recognise those forward-thinking employers who are working hard to promote good mental health and wellbeing among their workforce.”