Celebrating our Wellbeing Champions

April marks one year on since we launched our University-wide Wellbeing Champions scheme which aims to promote positive wellbeing and challenge the stigma around mental health, providing support and signposting for colleagues in departments and faculties.

In recognition of the work our Champions have been doing, during what has been a tough year for numerous reasons, we wanted to share with you some of their stories and highlight some of the fantastic achievements and important work that is helping us to achieve our vision for One University.

Image of Louise

The interest and enthusiasm that colleagues have shown to the Wellbeing Champions Scheme has been overwhelming. Growing our community of Champions is vital to ensuring a supportive and empathetic working environment that promotes positive mental health and wellbeing. A huge thank you to all of our Champions and for the time and commitment you have given over the past year. We look forward to working with you on many wellbeing related campaigns and initiatives over the coming years.

Louise Mackay, HR Manager, Projects - Staff Wellbeing

Our Wellbeing Champions play a key role in supporting and developing a positive and inclusive University culture and working environment for colleagues.

Through their work to promote good mental health and wellbeing our Champions support our University’s Mental Health at Work Commitment, comprising a set of actions that employers can follow to improve and support the mental health and positive wellbeing of their staff.

Earlier this year as part of our Mind: Mentally Healthy Universities Pilot Programme, a group of our Wellbeing Champions received additional mental health training provided by Sheffield Mind. This has helped them to lead on raising awareness of mental health amongst staff University wide, and challenge stigma.


What do our Wellbeing Champions do?

  • Support staff in achieving positive wellbeing, whether this is mental, physical, social or financial wellbeing
  • Signpost colleagues to relevant University wellbeing services and other external resources
  • Provide a listening ear to colleagues, including for informal chats
  • Play an active role in promoting wellbeing activities, campaigns and events
  • Encourage colleagues to access relevant health and wellbeing opportunities
  • Share best practice and stories of success
  • Act as role models to promote a healthy culture within the University community

Please note 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.


Key achievements in our first year

89 Wellbeing Champions have been recruited from across the University since the scheme was launched in April 2020.

7 training sessions on the role and support in place have been held and 38 Wellbeing Champions have completed this so far.

4 training sessions on how to have a wellbeing conversation have been held and 34 Wellbeing Champions have completed this so far.

5 training sessions on mental health awareness facilitated by Mental Health First Aid England have been held and 38 Wellbeing Champions have completed this so far.

An online library of flexible learning resources on key wellbeing topics has been developed to support champions.

A monthly Wellbeing Champion newsletter has been developed containing resources and tips for champions.

An online Wellbeing Champions Discussion Board has been developed for champions to share tips, best practice and provide mutual support for one another.


Meet our Wellbeing Champions

Our Wellbeing Champions have been sharing why they decided to become a champion and what they have enjoyed about the role to date.

If you wish to share your wellbeing champion story, please email staffwellbeing@sheffield.ac.uk

Alex Ball

Sarah Shahid

Emma Shaw

Katherine Barrott

Nigel Russell Sewell

Rachel Measures

Rebecca Wright

Stephanie Dawn

Zoe Davis

Zoe Hewitt and daughter

Image of David Anson

What’s next for Wellbeing Champions?

We will be launching a Wellbeing Champion Forum to help facilitate future collaboration and continued development for the ever growing community of champions across the University. More information will be shared on this soon.

Learn more about the scheme and how to become a Wellbeing Champion