HOLISTIC WEEK – The verdict is in………..


Surprisingly Ann was the first to arrive for day one – on 28 November – of the Holistic Week even though she was travelling down from Birmingham and had the furthest to travel!


Soon we were joined by Amy, Sara, Shane, Liliana and Anna.  The air was buzzing as the guys caught up with each other since they last met on the Orientation Week.  Made even more enjoyable by the coffee and breakfast supplied…….  Finally, the guys managed to get Ann on WhatsApp!


The first two day were quiet intense with the global course in Mental Health First Aid.  This is part of the programme to give tools and information on managing themselves and their colleagues who may incur a mental health issue.  Touching on Anxiety, Depression, Suicide, Personality Disorders, Eating Disorders and self-harm using a mixture of videos, case studies and interactive tasks,  So what did the guys think?


‘This was interesting and informative.  I have learnt so much including ALGEE and CPR’


‘I feel passionate about this subject.  It’s great that Growing Talent Associates become  certificated Mental Health First Aiders’.

‘We all need to be more aware of mental health’

‘I learnt techniques to help myself as well as others’.


We then moved on to a little lighter learning – Lesley Davies’s 3Rs.  Lesley always finds time in her busy diary to deliver this workshop which helps Associates maintain their energy and well-being onsite.  An hour of learning top tips.



‘3Rs give you invaluable information on your health and how to maintain it’


‘Made me realise I need to start having breakfast and drink more water!’


A finance roundtable tackling everyday issues such as debt, savings, making cash work harder was then delivered.  This workshop followed a quiz!


‘Great to get some information of where to go if things go wrong, ideas to increase savings and tips to avoid problems’

‘I will definitely change DD to SO’

‘I learnt some basic stuff I didn’t know before’

Healthy Bites Nutrition is a small company designing interactive workshops on nutrition.  Run by Kate Heneghan and Sophie Ball.  Now that Sophie is based in the States, Kate delivers a bespoke – healthy eating on a budget – workshop for Growing Talent Associates.  This includes lots of information on the food we eat and a DIY healthy pot noodle!



What were the guys thoughts on this?  Apart from Amy giving up large cartons of orange juice for the fresh fruit version……


‘Excellent – learnt a lot.  Surprised to learn frozen and tinned veg is just as good as fresh’




‘made me think about preparing my own food’


On the morning of day four, Gosia from Honeywell gave a manual handling workshop to refresh how lifts, moves etc should be done safely.  Seen in demonstration with Ann from Birmingham below – colleagues in Service Solutions would be proud Ann!



Day four saw part one of the art project.  Associates have to attend the National Gallery or the National Portrait Gallery together.  Armed with a project sheet, they have to identify a painting that particularly strikes them in a good or bad way.  They then have to answer the following:


  1. What was the name of the painting and artist?
  2. How did the painting make you feel?
  3. What question would you ask the artist if you could?

As Ann was new to London, Amy, Liliana and Julian took her for a stroll around some of the tourist hotspots after the gallery visit.


On the final day, we discuss their findings before commencing the art class.  First thing is to draw their chosen painting!




Then Chris joins us to take the Art class proper!  The Associates learn about the basics – holding the pencil, shading, blind drawing etc.  Always a lot of laughter in this session.


The still life the guys had to draw was part of Southwark Cathedral’s Christmas decorations.  After a lot of coaxing, I completed my feeble attempt below………





‘I liked the drawings we did best where we didn’t look at the paper’

‘I’d never been to an art gallery before – I could have stayed all afternoon! I enjoyed the art class – it’s amazing what you can do when you re coached’

‘I found the art class therapeutic and will definitely keep the drawing up’

‘This was fun and different.  I loved the art class and learnt a lot’

‘The art class made me look at things in detail – a good skill for everyday life’

‘It was a lovely experience’


So, what was the overall verdict of the week?


‘Excellent, really enjoyed it and the manuals give us a lot of onward learning………….Thank you!’


The guys return to their sites and roles on Monday 5 December.  The end is neigh! 16 December! watch this space for who completes and goes into work………..