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February 22, 2017 1

The Wellbeing Symposium,  UK’s Number One event for health and wellbeing – takes place today with some of the biggest names in the industry gathering to lead the conversation.  

It may be the fifth event, but the Wellbeing Symposium is as relevant as ever, coming just weeks after the announcement of a government review of mental health in the workplace – a topic that is likely to be a hot topic of discussion during the day.  

Augustine House., Canterbury Christ Church University
Augustine House and Hall, Canterbury Christ Church University

The Wellbeing Symposium 2017 will be taking place at The Augustine Hall, Canterbury Christ Church University, which is supporting this year’s event alongside C3 Collaborating for Health, mytimeactive, the health insurance group, Brachers, Kent HR, Golding Homes, Kent County Council and KIMS Hospital.

The event is organised once again by Wellbeing People and Pillory Barn bringing together healthcare professionals, HR directors and those simply looking to expand their knowledge to share best practice and explore the latest developments, resources and research in the field of wellbeing.

Delegates attending tSetting up for the Wellbeing Symposiumhis year will not only learn the latest from industry experts, they will also collect CPD points to put towards their professional development accreditation.

This year sees some important changes – not least the fantastic new venue and, later in the day, the launch of the first ever Inspiring Wellbeing Awards. This part of the Symposium, sponsored by Maidstone based KIMS Hospital, will celebrate some fantastic examples of best practice by individuals and organisations from across the UK.

Among the headline speakers are Christine Hancock founder and CEO of C3 Collaborating for Health and Christian Van Stolk, Research group director RAND Europe, an expert on wellbeing having worked extensively on social and employment policies.  Raman Sankaran from health plan provider, Simply Health, will also be using the event to launch the company’s new Care for Life programme.

Delegates will hear a range of views and experiences that will support delivery of their own wellbeing strategies – from issues around mental health to advice on ways turning around lost productivity. There will also be plenty of time for networking up in The Terrace, on the second floor of the impressive and modern university campus building – as well as a delicious lunch.

BBC journalist Julie Maddocks, meanwhile, will be in the chair for the Wellbeing Symposium’s very own Question time with a panel of experts taking questions about the hottest industry topics of the day from the audience.  Julie will return towards the end of the day to host the Inspiring Wellbeing Awards, sponsored by KIMS Hospital, celebrating the pick of projects that are setting the pace for health and wellbeing practice across the UK – with Golding Vision, DS Smith and Keir Ltd in the running for the overall Inspiring Wellbeing Champion of the Year.

Miranda Chapman, MD, Pillory Barn with PR Executive Rebecca Daniels.
Miranda Chapman, MD, Pillory Barn with PR Executive Rebecca Daniels.

Miranda Chapman, Managing Director of creative agency Pillory Barn, one of the founders of the event. said:

“We can’t wait to get this year’s event underway in our brand new venue with great speakers and, of course, excellent networking opportunities plus the chance to shine a light on some fantastic examples of best practice taking place in businesses and organisations across the UK. “

To join the conversation at this year’s event, follow the 2017 Wellbeing Symposium  on Twitter using the hashtag #wellbeingforlife


February 1, 2017 1

A recent survey by the National Autistic Society highlighted 75% of parents feel most isolated in supermarkets due to a lack of understanding and sensory discomforts. Families are faced with no choice but to either arrange a babysitter or shop online. In a society where we are working hard on inclusion, this sadly seems only to promote exclusion.

January 30, 2017 0

Today more than ever, having healthy and motivated employees is fundamental to the success of our businesses.

With 42%* of employees stating that a health condition affected their work “a great deal” or “to some extent,” engaging employees in their wellbeing and providing prompt access to healthcare must be a focus for any business, irrespective of size. 

hmqra7rlIt’s a well-known fact that healthier employees are absent less, recover from sickness quicker and are more engaged in delivering the organisation’s objectives.

From our own experience at KIMS Hospital, we know the benefits of investing in our staff’s Health and Wellbeing and in 2016, were recognised for doing so. We were one of the first healthcare organisations in Kent to receive a top accolade; ‘Excellence Award’** for the importance we place on the health and wellbeing of our 250 staff. 

In conjunction with our staff and in addition to implementing some new wellbeing initiatives focusing on increasing physical exercise through to healthy eating and stress management, we ensure everyone has prompt access to diagnostic tests and healthcare treatment. This means any health issues are identified promptly and treated swiftly.

As the largest independent hospital in Kent, KIMS Hospital has been working closely with a number of organisations, including some of those involved in The Wellbeing Symposium, to improve the health and wellbeing of local people; just as we have for our own staff.

Simon James, CEO at KIMS Hospital said:

“We take very seriously our commitment to local businesses and believe we have a key role to play in delivering economic growth in Kent by helping your staff stay healthy and in work.”


Over the coming months you’ll be hearing more from us about various health awareness campaigns and promotions we’ll be running to keep you and your staff healthy and treat them if they fall ill.

During February and March, to coincide with the British Heart Foundation’s campaign, you can visit KIMS Hospital and learn about how we can help you and your people prevent heart disease.

Alternatively we’d be happy to visit you.

To request further details or book an appointment, or to have a discussion about how KIMS Hospital might be able to help support your business’ healthcare needs then please contact us at  please contact a member of our corporate liaison team at or by calling 01622 237 727

Alternatively, pop along and see us at The Wellbeing Symposium on 22nd February, 2017.


* Department of Work and Pensions: Health and Wellbeing 2014

**Excellence Award from The Workplace Wellbeing Charter and The Kent Healthy Business Awards is part of a national initiative funded by Public Health England

January 30, 2017 0

Due to an overwhelming response to the launch of the Inspiring Wellbeing Awards, we’ve extended the deadline for one more week.

The awards, in partnership with KIMS Hospital, recognise the very best, innovative and inspiring interactions within the field of wellbeing.

The deadline for entries is now Wednesday, February 8 so don’t miss out, get your nomination in today!

Three category winners and an overall champion will be announced at the CPD accredited Wellbeing Symposium 2017 on Wednesday, February 22, at The Augustine Hall, Canterbury Christ Church University.

Whether you are a company, employee, or want to enter your own personal wellbeing journey, you can be recognised for your contribution.

The categories for the Inspiring Wellbeing Awards are:

– Inspiring Wellbeing Award for the Community

– Inspiring Wellbeing Award for the Workplace

– Inspiring Wellbeing Award for the Individual

– Inspiring Wellbeing Champion

Click here to find out more, or to enter the awards.

January 26, 2017 0

It was interesting to read research today from the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI), which proposes that banks offer basic account options for those struggling with mental health conditions. The new findings explore how mental health problems can affect everyday activities - such as budgeting and paying bills - and potentially put people at risk of financial trouble. For example, those struggling with short-term memory may find it harder to remember their pin number, while those experiencing extreme anxiety may avoid opening letters of taking calls from their bank.

January 18, 2017 0

The deadline is fast approaching for businesses to champion projects and people across Kent making the modern workplace a better place to be.

The Inspiring Wellbeing Awards is the name of a new national awards scheme organised by the people behind the Wellbeing Symposium event taking place in Canterbury next month.

Sponsored by KIMS Hospital in Maidstone, Kent’s largest independent hospital, the awards will champion best practice from across the county.

The awards are a new feature of this year’s Wellbeing Symposium, taking place on Wednesday, 22 February in Augustine Hall, Canterbury Christ Church University.

Simon James, Chief Executive Officer, KIMS Hospital, said: “KIMS Hospital are delighted to be sponsoring the inaugural Inspiring Wellbeing Awards, part of the 2017 Wellbeing Symposium.

“As the largest independent hospital in Kent, we are committed to providing the best possible healthcare for local people across the county.

“Hand in hand with this is recognising those local companies and individuals, who play a leading role in implementing wellbeing in the workplace and local community.

“With 42% of employees stating that a health condition affected their work, ‘a great deal’ or ‘to some extent,’ now is the time for leaders and individuals to take action to ensure wellbeing in the workplace and community is addressed.”

The event, the largest of its kind in the UK, brings together voices from across the health and wellbeing sector providing insight on the latest industry news – and tips for better workplace wellbeing.

As well as key note speakers and discussion, trophies will be presented to the person, workplace and community which have excelled or made a difference over the past year, before the overall Inspiring Wellbeing champion for 2017 is announced.

Nominations received so far for the 2017 Inspiring Wellbeing Awards, include Glowing Health, a Medway based company which offers food and fitness programmes – from recipes and bootcamps to workplace training.

Kent Sport, part of Kent County Council, has also been put forward for its work with housing association, Golding Homes establishing Get Active projects on housing estates across Maidstone.

The keynote speakers for 2017 include Christine Hancock, the founder of C3 Collaborating for Health and Christian Van Stolk, Vice President and Research Group Director for Home Affairs and Social Policy at RAND Europe.

There will also be a chance for delegates to put their questions direct to a panel of experts with government plans to transform mental health support likely to be high on the agenda.

The Wellbeing Symposium is organised by Maidstone based Wellbeing People and Pillory Barn, with sponsors including C3 Collaborating for Health, Mytimeactive, Brachers, KentHR, Kent County Council, Golding Homes, Canterbury Christ Church University and KIMS Hospital.

The deadline for nominations is 5pm on Monday, 1 February.

January 10, 2017 0

This advice comes from leading law firm Brachers and its associated HR consultancy, Kent HR, which specialise in employment and HR matters and are co-sponsors of the 2017 Wellbeing Symposium.

It follows the recent announcement from Theresa May of plans to “transform” attitudes to mental health and statistics from a recent study published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development which highlighted that:

  • 37% of mental health sufferers are more likely to get into conflict with colleagues
  • 57% find it harder to juggle multiple tasks
  • 80% find it difficult to concentrate
  • 62% take longer to do tasks
  • 50% are potentially less patient with customers/clients

The study indicates that mental illness is the largest single cause of disability in the UK. Catherine Daw, partner and head of employment at Brachers said:

“Employees can feel that their work contributes to, and impacts on, their mental health and statistics show that every year, three in ten employees experience mental health problems.

Catherine Daw

“Unfortunately, the complexity, diversity and range of root causes can make management of mental health at work difficult. It is nevertheless important that employers do take steps to support their employees; the Centre for Mental Health estimates that 91 million days are lost each year due to mental health problems with the total cost to employers estimated at nearly £26 billion each year. That is equivalent to £1,035 for every employee in the UK workforce.”

Veronica Fox, HR Consultant, Kent HR advises there are positive steps that employers can take:

“Employers should try to spot the signs of mental illness. These might include increased unexplained absences or sick leave, poor performance or timekeeping, poor decision-making, lack of energy and uncommunicative or altered behaviour”.

Brachers and Kent HR, who are co-sponsoring of The Wellbeing Symposium on 22 February in its bid to help raise awareness of wellbeing in the workplace, recommend employers start by having an informal discussion to try to find the root cause or, if the employee is returning from sickness absence, hold a ‘return to work discussion’.

Veronica Fox
Veronica Fox

There will be many factors affecting mental illness which an employer cannot control so Brachers and Kent HR recommend employers focus on what they can control. This might include:

  • adjusting workloads or duties;
  • giving some flexibility in working arrangements (possibly for a short period);
  • taking steps to improve the quality of working relationships; and
  • increasing awareness of mental health issues amongst line managers and increasing employee involvement in decision-making.

Under the Equality Act 2010 employers might legally be required to make reasonable adjustments; for example, an employee might require specialist medical treatment following diagnosis and employers should make reasonable provision for the employee to attend appointments”.

Brachers LLP and Kent HR join KIMS Hospital, Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent County Council, Wellbeing People, C3 Collaborating For Health, Mytimeactive and Golding Homes as sponsors of the 2017 Wellbeing Symposium.

To find out more about this year’s event including the 2017 speaker line-up, how to book tickets and make nominations for the inaugural Inspiring Wellbeing Awards, visit:

January 5, 2017 0

Leading law firm, Brachers and HR specialists, Kent HR are sponsoring The Wellbeing Symposium in its bid to raise awareness and improve wellbeing in the workplace.

The event, which takes place on 22 February 2017 at Canterbury Christ Church University, provides businesses the opportunity to hear from leading experts on the latest developments in the health and wellbeing industry and take away best practice strategies to their workplace.

Furthermore, its Launch Dinner on 21 February, sponsored by Brachers and Kent HR, will bring together HR and wellbeing professionals to share experience and expertise in the industry.

Among those delivering keynote presentations at The Wellbeing Symposium, are:

  • Christine Hancock, C3 founder and CEO As a member of the NHS Healthy Workforce Advisory Board, she has helped to oversee efforts to create a step change in the health of the 1.2million-strong NHS workforce.
  • Phil Veasey, Business Development and Marketing Director at Mytime Active A thought leader who speaks regularly at conferences and events about wellbeing issues, including obesity and sport participation.
  • Christian Van Stolk, Vice President and Research Group Director for Home Affairs and Social Policy – RAND Europe Christian has worked extensively on social and employment policies and recently finished a review on improving employment outcomes of those with mental health conditions.

Attendees of The Wellbeing Symposium will be given the chance to ‘ask the experts’ in an interactive Q&A session.

Catherine Daw, Head of Employment at Brachers who joins the panel said:

“Health and wellbeing are an increasingly important focus for employers and the symposium will provide an excellent opportunity to engage in a wide-ranging discussion and hear from others about key initiatives.”

Veronica Fox, Kent HR added: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to share our experience and expertise at the event and help champion wellbeing in the workplace. We work with clients to get the very best from their employees and wellbeing initiatives are central to achieving this.”

Ben McGannan, co-organiser of The Wellbeing Symposium, said:

“Brachers LLP and Kent HR are champions of wellbeing in the South East and are the perfect fit as sponsors of our launch event that will set the stage for this year’s Wellbeing Symposium.

Brachers LLP and Kent HR join KIMS Hospital, Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent County Council, Wellbeing People, C3 Collaborating For Health, Mytimeactive and Golding Homes as sponsors of the 2017 Wellbeing Symposium.

Click here to find out more about this year’s event including the 2017 speaker line-up, how to book tickets and make nominations for the inaugural Inspiring Wellbeing Awards.


December 8, 2016 0

Kims Hospital announced as Health & Wellbeing Award sponsor

We are delighted to announce KIMS Hospital as awards sponsor for the inaugural Inspiring Wellbeing Awards, part of the 2017 Wellbeing Symposium.

The hospital, based in Maidstone, is the county’s largest independent hospital. With 99 beds, five operating theatres and state of the art diagnostic services, KIMS Hospital has been designed to provide first-class health care for the Kent community.

The Wellbeing Symposium, taking place in the impressive surrounds of Augustine Hall, Canterbury on 22 February, is CPD Certified and organised in partnership with C3 Health, Kent County Council and Wellbeing People. Sponsors include Canterbury Christ Church University, Golding Homes and KIMS Hospital.
Currently in its fifth year, the event brings together the biggest names in the industry to debate the most pressing subjects in health and for the first time will celebrate excellence in the area with the launch of the Inspiring Wellbeing Awards.

Categories include: Inspiring Wellbeing Award for the Community; Inspiring Wellbeing Award for the Workplace and Inspiring Wellbeing Award for the Individual with February 1 2017 the deadline for nominations. An overall Wellbeing Champion will also be announced at the event.

Visit to find out more.

November 8, 2016 0

This year delegates attending the annual Wellbeing Symposium will collect CPD points to put towards their professional development accreditation. The national event, which takes place on 22 February 2017, in Kent, brings together leading voices in the health and wellbeing sector to debate the prevalent industry topics; from mental health in the workplace to government policy and law, and health in the wider community. Throughout a structured day of keynote speakers, workshops, 10-minute talks and Q&A sessions, the event provides skills-based, practical learning. Content shared at the event will help individuals write an effective wellbeing strategy. Delegates will receive seven CPD credits for attending - after the event, they will receive a certificate for their portfolio.