Valda Energy spearheads mental health initiatives for a happier workforce

There’s a formidable team of people at Valda Energy in Bicester who recognise that a thriving workforce is the cornerstone of success, and in a fast-paced world where the lines between personal and professional lives are increasingly blurred, fostering a supportive work environment is more critical than ever.

Commitment to our team’s wellbeing is evident through our innovative mental health initiatives, designed to support the company’s 120-strong workforce and cultivate a nurturing working culture.

Central to our mental health strategy is our company’s Mental Health First Aiders, a dedicated group of employees trained by Mind, the leading mental health charity. These first aiders are equipped with the skills needed to identify, understand, and help colleagues who may be experiencing mental health issues. Meeting monthly, they discuss work-based concerns and plan different initiatives throughout the year to enhance overall wellbeing.

One such initiative is the introduction of group walks throughout May, which provide a perfect opportunity for employees to step away from their desks, enjoy the outdoors, and engage in informal conversations with their peers. The benefits of such activities are many: physical exercise, fresh air, and social interaction all contribute to improved mental health. This simple yet effective initiative is a testament to Valda’s commitment to creating a supportive and inclusive workplace.

Zoe Mortimer, our HR lead behind these initiatives, underscores the importance of these efforts. "These are positive moves in line with what we know our people want and in fact deserve," she states. “We understand that our employees are our greatest asset, and their mental health is paramount. By investing in these programmes, we are not only supporting our team’s wellbeing but also fostering a culture where everyone feels valued and heard.”

In addition to the walks, we have implemented internal procedures that allow staff to book time with a Mental Health First Aider. This confidential service provides a safe space for employees to discuss any worries or concerns they might have, ensuring that they receive the support they need. The accessibility of this service reflects the company’s open-plan working culture, where communication and support are prioritised.

The importance of maintaining a happy and healthy work-life balance cannot be overstated. Valda firmly believes that when employees feel supported in their mental health, they are more engaged, productive, and satisfied in their roles. This holistic approach to employee wellbeing not only enhances individual performance but also contributes to a positive and collaborative work environment.

Zoe adds: “Our mental health initiatives are designed to be proactive rather than reactive. By having this culture of openness and support, we aim to prevent mental health issues from escalating. The monthly meetings of our Mental Health First Aiders are a crucial part of this approach, allowing us to continually assess and improve our support mechanisms.

“And this commitment to mental health from us is an ongoing journey. We are constantly exploring new ways to support our team and enhance their wellbeing. The feedback from our employees has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are proud of the progress we have made. However, we remain dedicated to evolving and improving our initiatives to meet the changing needs of our workforce.”

Certainly, Valda Energy is leading the way in creating a supportive and nurturing workplace for its young and older employees. Through its mental health initiatives, the company is making significant strides in promoting a healthy work-life balance and ensuring employees feel valued and supported.

As the company continues to grow and evolve, its commitment to mental health remains steadfast, driving it further to create an environment where everyone can thrive.