Being outside is not wellbeing. Mindfulness is not wellbeing.
You can be in the great outdoors at the top of a mountain, and still be unhappy or far from healthy. Deep into a mindfulness session but way out of your depth and comfort zone.
Switch on the news, look at a website, or scroll through the social media platform of your choice – it won’t be long before you come across references to wellbeing. It’s a very on-topic word right now, with the Covid-19 pandemic still affecting so many so negatively.
Go beyond the word itself, though, and come back to the meaning: Being comfortable; healthy; happy.
Together, they help to build resilience and support wellbeing (Read our Chief Exec’s thoughts on what characteristics resilient people exhibit here).
These are all states that Brathay has been striving to maximize for the children, young people, families, apprentices, graduates, teams, managers, corporations, event competitors, B&B guests (and so many more) we’ve supported during our 75 years of existence. Enhancing wellbeing is a longstanding, embedded, and vital feature of what we do.
Wellbeing may be sharply in focus at the moment, but for us it isn’t a new thing or a change of direction – it’s always been at the centre of what we do. The meaning is better articulated now but, for us, it is intrinsic – a skill that enables us to help those we work with improve their personal universe.
We are so much more than a place to go to for ‘outward bound’ experiences, or ‘team building’, although it is fair to say that these can be important elements supporting the overall experience. One example of putting wellbeing at the centre of our activity is F4H. We have now run more than 125 courses, since 2008, working in partnership to deliver a residential course for ex-service personnel. The aim of the programme is to help serving members & veterans of the armed forces of all ranks to manage the dramatic change in cultures that occurs when they return to civilian life.
We have long-standing relationships supporting key worker groups, including emergency services personnel, utilities companies, and council staff.
We’re also running new programmes for other groups too, to meet the immediate needs created by the current Covid-19 situation. Teaching staff are under enormous pressure, and our programme aims to work with them to support their wellbeing through offering the opportunity to learn and apply new skills, turning these into life-long habits to improve resilience when faced with the toughest of life’s challenges.
These uniquely Brathay experiences, around supporting the resilience of individuals and teams, are also on offer to corporates at this difficult time too – adapted to address the current environment, and delivered through a blend of interactive online, or face to face, sessions to suit.
So ‘wellbeing’ might be an over-used word right now but go deeper than soundbites and understand what it really means, and how to achieve it. It is important, and it always has been. It is something we all aspire to. It is something we need. It is so much more than just a trendy buzzword.
We have understood that for three-quarters of a century… and counting.