A New Home For YoungMinds
As we move into a new office, our CEO Emma Thomas reflects on how this enables us to continue our fight for young people’s mental health.
This week I have had the lovely experience of hearing delight from staff and volunteers – delight at our new offices which we finally moved into on Monday.
I feel strongly that for us to do our best for the young people we are here to support, we must look after our staff and create the environment for them to do their best work.
We need to enable flexible and smart working, which doesn’t mean one approach fits all, but allows us to keep working with talented people in a mutually beneficial way, with the tech and different spaces to make this possible.
We want to enable greater collaborative and creative working across teams, as well as with young people and other organisations, with the space and environment that supports this. We want to provide training in professional and conducive environment for learning, with greater space to meet the demand for our courses.
We want our Parents Helpline to be able to offer the confidentiality needed by those seeking support, whilst ensuring the team of staff and volunteers are very much part of the whole organisation.
And importantly, we need to ensure that we have private spaces for prayer, reflection or for those times when someone needs to step out and look after themselves.
As a sector, we have to manage our resources effectively and focus on the needs of those we exist to support. But as a young people’s charity focused on mental health, to focus on those we support and not those we employ who often happen to be young, would be counter-productive.
Our staff, trainers, volunteers, Activists and Youth Panel are what makes YoungMinds what it is, and critical to our work fighting for young people’s mental health. We need to ensure they are valued and like any employer, but especially given our work, make sure we are doing more to support their wellbeing. At YoungMinds, we know there is further we need to go to be better at supporting the wellbeing of our staff, but investing in our working environment is a critical part of this. Many thanks to all those who have helped us along the way with pro bono expertise, reducing rates, giving up their time and sheer hard work and commitment to create our new office.
Whilst the novelty and excitement might reduce after a time, our commitment to staff and seeing them as critical to how we achieve more for young people won’t. And it would be great to ensure we keep finding ways to 'delight' staff!
Emma Thomas, CEO