‘Hug in a Mug’ initiative on BBC Radio Gloucestershire

July 5, 2024

The Wellbeing Line is the Gloucestershire Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub, offering confidential mental health and wellbeing support to anyone working in health and social care in Gloucestershire.

The team have been out and about delivering free drinks and cakes to care home staff, courtesy of mobile baristas Tim and Nadia from Go Espresso. They have also been on hand to give those wishing to seek advice and support concerning their mental health and wellbeing the opportunity to have an informal chat.

BBC Radio Gloucestershire presenter Nicky Price joined the team at Avalon Residential Home in Gloucester to find out more about the ‘Hug in a Mug’ initiative.

She spoke to Sabina Yakub and Ellie Marsh from The Wellbeing Line, as well as members of staff from the residential home.

Sabina, Project Support Officer for the The Wellbeing Line, told Nicky: “It’s great to be supporting the staff for all the hard work they do and nice to say thank you to them and raise awareness of our service. We’re a fairly new service in Gloucestershire and want to let staff know we’re here to support them.

“We are treating them to a free hot drink, courtesy of Tim and Nadia from Go Expresso, and members of our team are also on hand to talk to staff about their wellbeing, and how we can help them and their teams.”

Assistant psychologist Ellie added: “The Wellbeing Line is an NHS service. We’re funded by the Gloucestershire NHS Integrated Care Board and hosted by Gloucestershire Health and Care, so we do sit right across the integrated care system, which is a network of health and social care organisations delivering care in Gloucestershire.

“We are a service for anyone working in health and social care in Gloucestershire and we provide a wide range of support. Our purpose is to unlock these conversations about mental health and wellbeing and normalise people’s experiences.

“We recognise there is a cost to caring in health and social care settings, and we want to help people access the right support for them.”

Nicky replied to Ellie: “So this really came about after Covid – something which went nationwide actually – the recognition that staff do need support. Not all of them have continued, but your service is still going.”

Ellie said: “We’re very fortunate that our local ICB has carried on our funding. We find out about the needs of the workforce and have the flexibility to carry out initiatives like ‘Hug in a Mug’, so we hope to continue doing that in Gloucestershire. So please use our services – we’re free!”

You can listen to Nicky’s broadcast in full here: Free coffee and chats for care home staff in Gloucestershire – BBC Sounds

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