“For me as founder, there always has to be a direct connection between my work and my surrounding environment. I believe this gives me strength and a vision to build connections between the people, organisations and environment that ultimately results in a sustainable business model for New Leaf Workplace Wellbeing.”

Becky Wright

Becky Wright is founder of New Leaf Workplace Wellbeing. She conceived the idea to create a socially conscious business for Training, Counselling, Coaching and Life Design. She has been a life long advocate of Mental Health reform and delivers the Mental Health First Aid Training as a MHFA Associate trainer.

Becky has developed a ‘next stage’ organisation as a trail blazer for encouraging others to develop more soulful business with meaning and purpose at the heart. She has engaged with many environmental initiatives bringing awareness to the mental balance created by our connection with nature. Her favourite is St Agnes Well at Cothelstone, Somerset.

The Well of Well-being

As part of New Leaf’s conscious social responsibility, Becky had wanted to create a place of well-being that people could visit and engage with. In 2008, whilst following a babbling brook near the side of a lane on a steep hill, she stumbled upon a long forgotten well house that was obscured by brambles in the corner of a field near Cothelstone. Backed by grants from the Quantock Hills Sustainable Development Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the local council, Becky partnered with the Huntspill Project and Bridgwater College to engage and benefit local young people from the experience of conserving this local landmark, working on its restoration and communicating its provenance to visitors.

Debbie McKenna became the project lead and helped to develop a key outcome of the restoration project – the development of a free app that tells the story of the well and the project’s vision for its future via film and sound. Alongside the recorded stories and a video of the final Ceremony, a ‘sound walk’ of the journey up to the Well and the surrounding area was recorded by Alex Roland from Your IT Now (which provides care and support for people with learning disabilities) with one of his clients who is an expert in 360-degree filming. www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQgpF4LMRmw

Through the raised profile generated by the project, St Agnes Well is now included in the Cultural Secrets of Exmoor listings and has since received a Certificate of Commendation from the Historic England ‘Angel Awards’ for ‘Best contribution to a heritage project by young people’.

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This beautiful place became our first well of wellbeing – please see the facebook page www.facebook.com/wellobsessed or download the well promotional leaflet.

You are invited to download the free App and visit the well … listen to the stories and history and follow the sound walk. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/holy-well/id1139540831?mt=8

About

Conscious Social Responsibility

New Leaf Workplace Wellbeing was founded to create the space that would enable people to flourish by overcoming the issues that can affect their working life, their relationships, personal well-being and the ability to contribute positively to their community. Becky believes in piloting new ways of working to create a more equitable and humane way of working.

We benefit the local community by:

  • Maintaining the delivery of high-quality and relevant services that meet the needs of the local business community.
  • Establishing a caring and collaborative ‘green’ ethos that drives all business decisions and is underpinned by a Sustainability and Procurement Policy.
  • Asking for and valuing feedback and contribution from associates, partners, staff and clients.
  • Having a vision and purpose with a strong emphasis on ‘giving back’ to the local community and engaging in work with true meaning.
  • Helping businesses and their employees flourish by raising awareness of mental health in the workplace and providing relevant services and support.

When organisations use our wellbeing services they not only act to support their employees but indirectly contribute to our CSR work, supporting the wider community. We have been a finalist in the Taunton Deane Corporate Social Responsibility Award 2017 in recognition of our efforts, and our clients’ contribution.

CSR Award - Taunton Deane Businesss awards

Rural Life Design

In October 2019 New Leaf will be launching our Rural Life Design Project.

Since 1991, the European Union has provided funding through its Leader programme for rural businesses, giving grants to projects designed to make farming more productive or help small rural enterprises to flourish. At New Leaf we wanted to increase our offer of services to SMEs and develop a rural mental health service. To do that we had to have a site we could operate from that met with the needs of our clients.

Up to this point we have always rented offices, initially in doctor surgeries, then office space in Wellington followed by Taunton, and lastly Bridgwater. Never have we had a much desired rural space to work from.

I’m delighted now to share our news with you. From 1st October we will have a purpose-built rural office hidden on the Quantocks.

Our new home has been made possible by a 40% grant from Somerset Levels and Moors LEADER Programme. We originally submitted an application in 2015 but were unsuccessful, but with the help of Marsha from Miles Consulting, we resubmitted a full proposal in 2018 complete with build proposition, this time succeeding to secure the funding.

We wanted this space to be very special so within the design for the Rural Life Design Office we introduced a wildlife haven with pond, bee and bird friendly shrubs, wildflower areas and butterfly planting. Most importantly, we needed to build a mental health garden to create a place of wellbeing to work from.

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To help us with the design and planning process we engaged Julie Layzell, a local CMLI Chartered Landscape Architect. She designed the space with us and helped with planning the office build. Jon Guard, a local Gardner and musician, completed all the landscaping and planting. We commissioned Creative Garden Studios, based in Devon, to build our new office.

The external size is 4.5m x 2.5m with a height of 2.5m, giving an internal floor space of 9.24m sq (4.2m x 2.2m). The building has a timber frame and timber ceiling joists with the walls made from regularised treated timber. Rockwool sound acoustic stone wool insulation allows it to be cool in the summer and snug in the winter. The material is water repellent and moisture permeable, preventing damp, resisting rot and mould but allowing the insulation to breathe.

The outside of the office is made with HardiePlank durable fibre cement cladding. We chose the fibre cement as it is one of the most energy efficient materials on the market. It is also environmentally friendly requiring less energy in assembly and construction – and we also liked the fact that no pesticides are used in the manufacture process.

The space surrounding the office called for the help of Jon Guard who, using reclaimed timber, slabs and preloved paving stones, created our amazing pond and mental health garden.

The end result is a lovely rural space where we can focus on developing rural mental health services for the local agricultural industry and providing counselling and wellbeing services for rural SMEs.

We can’t pretend that it isn’t amazing to have been able to build this space and to be free of the rental overheads we have carried for the past 20 years. Not only that, but did I mention that we have some exbattery hens to keep us company? Pretty sure they will prove much more popular on social media than I am! So, what’s not to love?

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Other New Leaf CSR Projects - Past & Present

The Wellbeing Gig
Corporate social responsibility
About
CSR armed forces

Got a great idea for a Conscious Social Responsibility project? Call or text New Leaf today on 07590 684888 or email Becky Wright directly on [email protected]af.uk.com

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