This month, we interview Managing Director Sam Stuart-Hill about the launch of Friends Helping at Home Communities. Sam champions good flexible working practices with wellbeing at heart. She has embedded a culture of healthy and happy work within Head Office and is now looking to expand this to the wider FHAH network.
I love the logo for Friends Helping at Home Communities! It looks really exciting – can you tell us more?
I spend a lot of time working with our branches to develop strategies to support their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those within their branch network. The factors that promote positive wellbeing are different for each individual so it was really important to come up with something that was not limited to a certain type of activity such as fitness or sport. I love that Libby (our graphic designer) really captured this in the logo.
Where did the idea for Friends Helping at Home Communities come from?
Often, I find that there are financial blockers when it comes to setting goals to support our work/life balance. I wanted to create a way for people from our network and beyond to have support to access a life goal or special event like run a marathon or attend a poignant event. It’s about the little things – better trainers or a few extra hours from a support worker rather than providing vast sums. It’s more of a help along the way to remove a blocker, certainly at the moment. One day, the dream is to sponsor something huge like sending a group of Service Providers up Kilimanjaro but were still only small – we’ll get there.
So how would you select someone to benefit from your fund?
Up to now, has anyone benefitted from the funding?
Yes! Really recently! Our Plymouth Branch Manager met with a client that happened to be a Falklands Veteran. Neil served in the Royal Logistics Corps in the Falklands War. He was desperate to attend the Armed Forces Day Celebrations to mark 40 years since the end of the war. For many reasons, Neil would need support to attend the day and with his friend busy helping at the event, he was left with no one to take him. He would need 5 hours support all in. Jo called me to ask if this was something that the fund could help with. We deliberated and decided that absolutely, this was a perfect example!
What impact did this have for Neil?
Neil was over the moon to stand amongst his fellow ex-servicemen and women in Plymouth. He could join in and be part of his community – representing the military community, which especially in places like Plymouth, is incredibly important. I am so glad we could help Neil mark something that was so personal to him and his previous career. It is really important to military personnel to show their respect for events like this. It is quite a unique sense of duty. There is also a lot of loneliness in the (currently serving and ex) military community – support like this is invaluable.
So who can access this?
Anyone from the FHAH network. From our Registered Service Providers to employed branch staff to the branch owners themselves. It is no secret that FHAH is all about grass routes business leadership – our branch owners are very much operational and work incredibly hard for their businesses – the support is available to everyone in the network provided that you can convince us of why you need it – we won’t be saying yes to everyone! All we ask in return is that we can share your story and you include your links to the Friends Family and our sponsorship on your social media etc.
If you would like to apply for funding through Friends Helping at Home Communities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject FHAH Communities and we will be in touch with how to apply.