Simon Skerritt from the MOD was an organiser and also ran a marketplace stall at #OTGWellbeingCamp. Here he tells us about his experiences of working with the team to plan the day
Part of the team
As a Civil Service network lead, it is great to work with other Civil Service networks or organisations, to share good practice, plan and then take part in joint events, meet new contacts and learn from each other.
Wellbeing Camp felt like any another Civil Service event at the outset. However, it quickly became apparent was that it was anything but! It turned out to be a really special and unique day.
Planning started in February with early Friday morning planning meetings galore with the rest of the team. It was during these early planning meetings that I noticed that the planning team had an amazing passion for wellbeing. We started each session with an emotional check in, helping us to understand each other on an emotional as well as professional level.
Each member of the planning team that I was so proud to be a part of, were dedicated, hardworking and had an awesome ability to continually listen out for new ideas that could make the event better. The team would not be afraid of the hard work required to make it happen or to change direction if there was a better idea. No idea was ever a bad idea and everything was done with thought and care.
The focus of the event was a strong emphasis on having a ‘Me’ day that was fun.
Everyone who attended was asked to put themselves and their wellbeing first, with the hope that everyone would come out of the event with a smile on their faces and feeling re-energised… I have never known this stated as the explicit intent of an event before.
My role was to promote the Civil Service Deaf and Hard of Hearing Network and the Civil Service Visual Network as part of the event marketstall, with a view to raising awareness of both networks. I was fortunate that I also had the opportunity to attend some of the sessions.
I was so inspired by the speakers who all talked about their own wellbeing experiences, one that really stuck out was Susie B in the Conversation Cafe. However, what I had not accounted for was the importance of wellbeing when considering inclusion and that wellbeing affects everyone. It is something that has stayed with me after the event and an area that I hope to take forward with the networks that I am involved in, with other networks if the opportunity presents itself.
During the day I saw a sea of smiles from Civil Servants enjoying the event which made all those early Friday morning planning meetings worthwhile!
The feedback after the event was just as positive too with everyone who attended saying how much they had loved it, felt rejuvenated and re-energised and talking about how much they had learned.
To the One Team Gov wellbeing event planning team, who all sacrificed many hours, very often in their own time, thank you will never be enough for the commitment, determination, passion and togetherness you showed in putting on without doubt the best Civil Service event I have ever been a part of. I am sure I speak for so many of those who attended too.
To you all, you have given me a wonderful memory of an amazing Civil Service event that I will never forget being a part of, and when I think of wellbeing, I will think of you all… and the amazing A-Z Wellbeing Funky Chicken!
And you can find out more about the Civil Service Deaf and Hard of Hearing network on Twitter.