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MIND network – OVO | Glasgow, UK

At OVO we talk a lot about the importance of Belonging, and we have amazing Networks that help sustain that conversation day in and day out. They cover a range of topics and identities, ranging from gender, to age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, mental health, disability, and beliefs.

Our OVO Mind network is there to recognise and support the impacts of mental health on our people as we know it is so important to their feeling of belonging at work.
In our inclusive society, being able to work well with colleagues, customers and clients of different backgrounds is of the utmost importance. This includes being able to communicate about differences productively and meaningfully, and having the knowledge to meet different needs in our work.

OVO Mind network has grown to the biggest Belonging Network within OVO increasing significantly over the last 12 months. We have really listened to our people and implemented dedicated support groups and services to ensure people are supported in the way that they need it most. We have set up channels to engage with people impacted by Cancer, Baby & Child Loss, Long Term Trauma, Bereavement and those who have served in the Armed Forces. Our people have appreciated this alternative to our main Mind network where those with lived experience can come together to talk about their own situation.

Over the last two years, the network have arranged and facilitated a 2 day Mind Festival. The festival is a way for all our people, at home or in the office, to come together to learn new ways of staying mentally healthy and about the support available to them when they need extra help. Our speakers included Mindfulness, Menopause, Financial Support, Men’s Mental Health, Solutions Focused to Mental Health but also included practical support through yoga, nutritional support & a silent disco to round off the event. These sessions were recorded and shared post event and will always be present for our members to obtain in the future. They were one of the most attended events across our network community.

Our Mental Health First Aid network completed a refresh in their community last year starting with onboarding of new members and providing refresher training for their existing members. They canvassed our people who suggested there could be improvements to accessing the service which was quickly amended,a full relaunch was conducted which has proved to be successful. The feedback we receive from those who use this service whilst either seeking to just speak with someone or because of a crisis is extremely positive. We also know that people aren’t always in a first aid or crisis situation but do need someone to be there at times, that’s why we launched so that our people never feel on their own.

At OVO we recognise the importance of all genders and our sessions are focused on providing support to those experiencing or supporting which could be anyone. However, since our 1st wellbeing festival in 2022 we have conducted various sessions through Andysman Club in support of men’s mental health. Around 50% of our people identify as male therefore it is a significant amount of people to focus on. We have held Awareness Sessions both remotely and in person in each of their hubs. We also ran an Andysman Club event in our hubs with a segment of our male employees to give them a sense of what turning up to an event would look like.

We also have a wellbeing group to ensure the wellbeing of our staff remains a clear priority. This group includes our Reward team who have provided a wealth of tools for our people namely the Digicare + App which allows staff to book a GP appointment, 2nd GP opinion service, access to counselling and bespoke Bereavement counselling. This has been one of the biggest wins as it is accessible to people 24/7 and they can book these services at the touch of a button.

Within our Mind network we have embedded a Menopause support framework linking in our 30 trained Menopause Champions. We have a monthly meet, a Google chat and also a section on our intranet dedicated to resources. We have created and promoted our internal online training course across the business. We have delivered various Menopause initiatives including awareness sessions with our C suite and senior leadership teams, as well as GP and Nutritionist lead meetings. Our Digicare + app does provide Nutritionist support involving Menopause specialists as well as our Carefirst system which also has dedicated Menopause resources and specialists. We are committed to ensuring that those experiencing Menopause have the right support and are working towards our Menopause Friendly Accreditation this year.