After one of the most challenging years in recent history, Network group are proud to have recently launched two initiatives to help support the health and wellbeing of our member community.  With symptoms of depression doubling since the start of the pandemic (according to the Office for National Statistics figures), Network Group are taking steps to provide accessible support systems for our members.

At the end of last year, Network Group announced Frazzled Cafe as charity partner for our November member event. Frazzled Cafe provides a safe and confidential space where people who are feeling frazzled can meet to talk and share their personal stories. Their sessions are designed not just for the one-in-four Britons who will suffer a mental illness at some point, but for the four-in-four who are feeling frazzled and overwhelmed by the stresses of modern life. Their purpose is to provide a space where people can talk openly - a place where its ‘okay to not be okay’.

As part of the partnership, members of Network Group were able to enjoy a timely keynote from leading mental health campaigner, Ruby Wax OBE.  Many will know Ruby as a comedian, writer and performer, but she has also been an advocate for mental health for years and is the founder of Frazzled Cafe.

In a Network Group first and in the spirit of our company value - “Better today: We strive to be the best we can be, and to help others be the best that they can be” - we extended an invitation to the wider tech channel community to join this important session – we all took part in some mindfulness and learned how we can better understand and nurture our mental health and about the importance of community.  One such attendee was Rachel McGuiness from Wake up with Zest, who said: “The Ruby event was great, very interesting. Looking after both our physical and mental health at the moment is so important.”  Whilst Jason Carlton from member company Uptech said “Great session Ruby, good to have another non tech session” and Mostyn Thomas from member company Astrix Integrated Systems echoed many saying “Brilliant session to top off a superb week!”.  Not only was the session an important one, but a very relevant one...particularly at the end of a year that has been challenging to say the least.

Following on from this well received keynote, Network Group have been providing dedicated sessions for their members, run by Frazzled Cafe facilitators, providing the same safe space to share, talk and listen; the sessions usually start with 2-3 minutes of mindfulness to ensure everyone is ‘present and ‘focused’ ahead of group members sharing how they are feeling, if they choose, all in safe and non-judgmental environment.

David Tulip, Managing Director of Network Group & Technology To Go said “these meetings are not about therapy or offering solutions…but an opportunity to take time out and speak openly amongst our peers who understand how it feels to be frazzled. We’ve long recognised that this is an important topic for our members and are pleased to be offering this mental wellbeing support, particularly during these uncertain and challenging times”.

In addition, last week Network Group announced a new member benefit, and have teamed up with Wake Up With Zest, an online wellbeing hub that provides 24/7 access to a host of articles, videos, and podcasts on a variety of topics designed to improve workplace wellbeing.  The focus is around the four pillars of vitality - sleeping better, eating healthier, getting fitter and being resilient – which are fundamental to wellbeing.

David Tulip said “We’re delighted to bring this benefit to our members.  In line with one of our core values ‘better today’, we’re striving to be the best we can be, and helping our members be the best they can be”.

To learn more about the support Frazzled Cafe can offer please visit: www.frazzledcafe.org

To learn more about the support Wake Up With Zest can offer please visit: www. wakeupwithzest.com