New support will be offered to the region’s businesses to help improve mental health and wellbeing for employees, and address some of the problems arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is investing £100,000 to develop ‘Thrive West’, which aims to address some of the key mental health issues which businesses say are affecting their employees, and impacting productivity.
Thrive West will help to raise awareness of mental health support, provide information, advice and guidance, and develop online tools. The package of support, including training resources, will be hosted by WECA’s West of England Growth Hub website www.wearegrowth.co.uk
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “It’s never been more important for us all to pull together and help one another out. Thrive West is part of package of new support for the region’s businesses which I am bringing forward over the coming weeks. This includes addressing mental health issues for businesses, support for financial resilience and our Trading Better Online programme, which I launched last week.
“Businesses have been telling me that the mental health of their staff is a major concern as the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt across our region. Our businesses and workers need help and support from a trusted source during these difficult times. That’s why we’re investing £100,000 to develop Thrive West and build this vital package of support.”
The Combined Authority is working with a range of employers and partners including Public Health professionals and representatives from Business West, the Federation of Small Businesses, Thriving at Work regional network, Mind, and the Thriving at Work Leadership Council.
Thrive West builds on existing arrangements including the ‘Thriving at Work Bristol’ programme extending the work to the wider region, focussing on those sectors most affected by the pandemic. Thrive West will cover the Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire council areas. It will share learning and best practice and will support others to embed good mental health support in workplaces across the West of England.
Thrive West is part of the West of England Combined Authority’s targeted business support programme following the coronavirus outbreak. It follows the recent launch of Trading Better Online, designed to help small businesses enhance their web presence by adopting new technology or new digital practices. Through the scheme businesses will be matched to a consultant and supported through up to four days of free hands-on support.
The West of England Growth Hub plays a key role in helping SMEs access tailored business support, find and navigate information, and expand their networks. The Growth Hub is the West of England’s dedicated business support service which offers free, one-to-one advice and guidance for SMEs to help them innovate and adapt, build financial resilience and boost productivity. Find out more: www.wearegrowth.co.uk.