This case study may be useful if you are looking for examples of increasing awareness of wellbeing and promoting wellbeing initiatives.
In the New Year, Fenners decided to raise awareness of Wellbeing at the Bar in Chambers. They began several initiatives to improve their workspace. They offered education about wellbeing and information about where to seek help to manage it. They also encouraged participation in physical events and discussion about taking holidays and sabbaticals.
Chambers has expanded and is very busy. It is increasingly difficult to know everyone well and to appreciate how they are feeling about life and practice. Wellbeing is such a sensitive topic for many people. Many don’t find it easy to discuss their own well-being as they feel it is a sign of vulnerability. By encouraging general, rather than personal, discussions about wellbeing and promoting healthy initiatives in Chambers, Fenners hope to get to know each other better and to create a mutually supportive environment for everyone.
Chambers’ practice covers a wide geographical area involving significant travelling this also raised concerns about members’ wellbeing.
What was the business (other case) for action?
Fenners have always been a very supportive set when people have found it difficult to work because they or their family are unwell. When support is offered people feel they are valued and that others will support them to remain in Chambers during their difficulties.
They also wanted their clerking team to feel valued, supported and protected.
What did Chambers do?
Examples of activity and initiatives include:
What were the results?
Feedback on initiatives has been as follows:
“Thank you for starting the well-being conversation and leading the way.”
“I love these ideas so much. I love that I work with people who think this way.”
On fruit deliveries:
“I have been shocked that some are unable to eat because they are so stressed about court and work so that they feel faint and dizzy not having eaten all day.”
“I was so grateful for the fruit in the kitchen after a long day at court with no lunch and no time to stop. I was light-headed when I got back to chambers and the fruit saved me.”
On reconfiguring premises:
” …We really appreciate having somewhere quiet and relaxing to go at lunchtime.”
” …It is wonderful to cycle through Cambridge to court. What a privilege and an opportunity to clear my mind before court.”
On posters with wellbeing information:
“It has given me a blue-print about what to look out for and how to manage it.” It is concise, self-explanatory and not intrusive.”
On supporting flexible working/breaks:
” …I have felt burnt-out at times. Flexible working is the key to my well-being which in turn improves my performance.”
“Fenners thoroughly deserve a certificate for the considered approach they have taken, through small gestures, to ensure members and staff feel supported. A great set of tips for others too!”
Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group
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.
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