Wellbeing Champions title

Wellbeing Champion Toolkit

The University is committed to placing health and wellbeing at the heart of the experience of working at the University and to ensuring that all members of staff are able to work in a supportive, health-promoting and caring environment, where they are valued and respected.

We believe that a Wellbeing Champions Scheme is vital to this commitment. Champions will have a key role in reducing the stigma associated with mental health at the University of Sheffield, encouraging staff to feel confident to speak about their own personal experiences.

This toolkit is designed to assist Faculties and Departments to set up a Wellbeing Champions scheme of their own, guided by their local HR Team and supported by the University Staff Wellbeing Team.

Why do we need Wellbeing Champions?

The Wellbeing Champions Scheme is vital to our commitment to work to reduce the stigma associated with mental health at the University of Sheffield and in doing so, encourage staff to feel confident to speak about their own personal experiences.

The Champions will play a key role in developing and supporting a culture that contributes to improved mental health and wellbeing. Wellbeing Champions support the University’s Mental Health at Work Commitment and the standards, which underpin it, leading to better mental health outcomes for staff.

What will Wellbeing Champions do?
  • Support staff in achieving positive wellbeing (mental, physical, social and financial)
  • Offer an informal listening ear for colleagues
  • Signpost colleagues to relevant University wellbeing services and other external resources
  • Take an active part in promoting wellbeing activities, campaigns and events
  • Encourage colleagues to access relevant health and wellbeing opportunities
  • Share best practice and stories of success
  • Role model and promote a healthy culture within the University community
What will Wellbeing Champions not do?

The Wellbeing Champions will have received training, but they are not counsellors, mediators or mental health experts. They will, however, be able to provide advice on the University providers of these services.

How will Wellbeing Champions be supported?

Full training will be made available and Wellbeing Champions will always have access to and the support of their HR Faculty team, Faculty EDI colleagues and the University Staff Wellbeing team, as well as to online resources. We would suggest that a peer support network is also established at a Faculty level and a University level and the University Staff Wellbeing team will support this.

An overview of the Wellbeing Champion scheme and the key documents in the toolkit can be downloaded via the downloads section on the right hand side of this page.

If you are interested in setting up a Wellbeing Champion scheme within your area and have any questions please contact staffwellbeing@sheffield.ac.uk.


FAQs for staff who wish to become Wellbeing Champions:

Why is the University introducing Wellbeing Champions for staff?

Wellbeing Champions will play a key role in developing and supporting a culture that contributes to improved mental health and wellbeing. Wellbeing Champions support the University’s Mental Health at Work Commitment and the standards, which underpin it, leading to better mental health outcomes for staff.

The Wellbeing Champions scheme is a way through which we can work to reduce the stigma associated with mental health difficulties and to encourage staff to feel better able to speak about their experiences.

If I sign up, will I be expected to be an expert on mental health / harassment / wellbeing issues?

Absolutely not! The Wellbeing Champions are not expected to be an expert on any of the above issues, but they will carefully listen to staff concerns and enable them to seek the right support. Apart from being a listening ear, champions will be trained to signpost staff to other sources of support which they may not have considered previously. Full training will be made available and you will always have access to and the support of the HR Faculty team, as well as online resources and regular network meetings.

What will the role involve?

The Wellbeing Champions will listen to staff concerns and will be guided by their individual preferences regarding how they wish to proceed. The Champion may provide staff with alternative sources of support and will provide information on routes open to all. The role holder will be proactive in raising awareness of health and wellbeing events, activities and services across the University and where possible provide virtual drop in sessions and promote their availability to colleagues and networks.

How will Wellbeing Champions be recruited?

Each Faculty/Department will be responsible for their own recruitment processes. However, an example recruitment process has been developed and is available to download as part of the toolkit.

Following confirmation of appointments each Faculty/Department will be responsible for sending a list of successful staff to staffwellbeing@sheffield.ac.uk so that they can be enrolled onto the induction and training for this role.

If I sign up, will I get paid to do this role?

This is a non-remunerated role, as such there are no explicit time commitments required although it is envisaged that alongside initial briefing and training, champions may utilise up to 3 hours per month. There may be additional time required and requested to support key activities and CPD (outlined more fully in the role criteria).

It is advised that you discuss with your line manager how your time commitment can be most appropriately accommodated.

Who is responsible for overseeing the Wellbeing Champions themselves? Where should I go if I need help and guidance myself as a Champion?

Your department or faculty will confirm the infrastructure of support for Wellbeing Champions. This will likely include regular liaison and contact with Faculty ED&I and HR Colleagues. You will also have close links to the HR Staff Wellbeing team who can also offer Champions support in terms of resources, ideas, information and collaboration for campaigns, events and activities.

What training will Wellbeing Champions receive?

Wellbeing Champions will be fully trained and supported to carry out the role. This will include MHFA Awareness training as well as an internal training and induction scheme. An overview of the training programme is available to download under the 'Toolkit Resources'.

How will Wellbeing Champion Training be funded? The majority of training will be delivered internally and online and so we anticipate that this will be available free of charge. Mental Health First Aid England will likely incur a cost and this will be payable from Faculty/Departmental budgets.
How will people know to get in touch with Champions? Once all Champions have been appointed the Faculty or Department will arrange to communicate this to all staff, including details about the Wellbeing Champions scheme, their contact details and availability.
What will my responsibilities be as a Wellbeing Champion in terms of maintaining confidentiality? Champions will receive appropriate training around maintaining confidentiality. Any conversations should be kept in the strictest confidence, unless there are exceptional circumstances or concerns around the immediate welfare of a member of staff.
What should I do if I identify a Conflict of Interest? Champions will receive appropriate training around this. In this situation, with there being multiple Champions within a department, we would advise that the conflict of interest is declared and the individual is directed to another Champion where there is not a conflict.