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39 Park Square Chambers

This case study may be useful if you are looking for examples of developing a wellbeing policy, increasing awareness of wellbeing, developing resilience training schemes and/or promoting wellbeing initiatives.

What was the business (other case) for action?

After attending the North Eastern Circuit Seminar on well-being and mental health awareness at the Bar last year, it became apparent that all sets need to address this important subject head-on.

39 Park Square recognised work on wellbeing was not just about compliance with legislation or reputation, but about the good health of our colleagues, workforce and friends.

In particular, chambers recognised the importance of:

  • giving members a way in which to cope with mental-health related sickness absence (both emotionally and financially);
  • helping clerks  manage diaries and relationships with instructing solicitors in any period of absence;

 

  • how members should broach mental health issues with colleagues and staff and;
  • providing assistance when needed or knowing where to direct those who require it.

The long-term aim of chambers’ work on this agenda  is to evidence our commitment to wellbeing through a range of initiatives which promote good mental and physical health.

Chambers want its members to feel that they have the benefit of support whenever and wherever they need it, and that 39 Park Square will ensure members can work to the best of their ability in a professional environment that they can thrive in.

What did the Chambers do?

To support work on this agenda chambers established a wellbeing committee.

39 Park Square developed a survey for all members which sought anonymous answers to questions on wellbeing, support wanted from Chambers and on Circuit; and the extent members want assistance in this area. The result was overwhelmingly positive and refreshing even from those who simply explained that they did not require any help, setting out the  help  they already have.

 

Chambers participated in  a Circuit  based seminar on Mental Health and Wellbeing at the Bar. This was well attended and was filmed/uploaded to the Circuit’s website so it was available to all members of the Circuit.

Chambers has  created a wellbeing notice board which contains contact numbers and charities listed on it. The notice board also  advertises Chambers social events – where we recognise the value of these activities as contributing toward general wellbeing.

“It is good to see 39 Park Square thinking at both a set and circuit-based level. Recognising the value of – and the opportunities gained by – working with other chambers. Simple ideas like a notice board and encouraging conversations are impactful, particularly where chambers can demonstrate a thorough approach and understanding of wellbeing (e.g. through surveys, policy and governance) and the needs of members and staff in their own set. Really useful set of tips for others too!”

Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group

What were the results?

This ongoing project has provided Chambers with the opportunity to begin to address this topic and provide help/support. It has inspired members to talk about the subject of mental health and individuals are now sharing their stories. We believe this is critical to normalising wellbeing challenges and breaking down perceptions that barristers suffer alone.

Tips -Do’s

  1. Make any/all seminars circuit wide to enable wider participation for the benefit of others but also the benefit of your set as the more people there are, the more stories they have to tell.
  2. Contact charities that you think may be able to assist. You will be surprised with the positive response.
  3. Think about repaying the favour to said Charities by organising a fundraiser of some sort and donating the profits to those that have attended to speak at a seminar. Fundraising in itself will raise morale

The information and resource packs on this website are designed to help you and your colleagues to work as a community for better wellbeing and professional resilience. If you want to provide feedback on these resources, or to get involved in promoting wellbeing please get in touch.


Get in touch Policy & practice

It can be difficult to make a living from law and it can be pressurised and demanding. Competition and an adversarial approach to everything can make collegiate relationships difficult. This website aims to provide you with the knowledge to manage these stressors, make emotionally informed, wise professional decisions and thrive in your chosen profession.

A simple expression that sums up wellbeing is ‘travelling well’

Psychological wellbeing within the profession is rarely spoken about