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.
Kings Chambers has devised and implemented Wellbeing Policy to support its members and staff.
The policy makes access to assistance readily available. Chambers has grown significantly both in terms of the number of members and logistics in recent years. Many members and staff have family and other commitments and are striving to achieve a satisfactory work life balance which has led to an increase in remote working. Chambers feels it is important to have easily accessible support available to assist general wellbeing.
As a Chambers we have had members who have had wellbeing issues. They have been open about past difficulties and support our aims. We have always attempted to support our members and staff but recognise that a more coherent and joined up approach is far more efficacious and practical.
What was the business (other case) for action?
Kings Chambers cares about its members and staff. We regard wellbeing as being an essential element needed to create a positive environment for all stakeholders and facilitate the smooth running of Chambers. In a stressful environment and with pressures of living, it is inevitable that some people will feel overwhelmed and may develop problems. Everyone needs a little help from time to time.
We encourage people to be open and to seek help. We do not see this as a sign of weakness and we hope that we will be able to make our Chambers stronger as a result.
What did the Chambers do?
• We have created a wellbeing policy setting out our goals and aspirations; this is supported by an implementation plan.
• We have appointed people with responsibility for wellbeing, namely 2 wellbeing leads (male and female), a member of Chambers responsible for staff wellbeing, a member of Chambers to lead the mentorship scheme, a Senior Clerk and our Chambers’ Director.
• We have attended a Bar Council meeting on mentoring.
• The services of an external psychotherapist were secured to come into Chambers to educate the people with wellbeing responsibility.
• We are in the process of finalising a Wellbeing section within our library comprising of books on wellbeing and resource packs with contacts and help lines that we have prepared for anyone who would prefer to seek assistance independently of Chambers.
• Our policy is published on our Chambers’ website and we have incorporated a Wellbeing section within our internal monthly newsletters.
• Wellbeing is recognised as being a fundamental consideration in determining decisions in Chambers.
• We have access to a psychologist to advise as to individual referrals. We have approached a health and food nutrition expert to give advice.
What were the results?
There have been a couple of instances since the inception of our Wellbeing policy where a problem has been recognised and successfully acted upon. External expert advice has been sought to assist.
There is a wider appreciation of the facilities and services that we have available and that we can offer to members and staff.
“Drawing on external expertise and advice, King’s Chambers have taken a thoughtful approach to wellbeing, creating named wellbeing leads and providing them with the training and support they require. They are also investing in wellbeing resources in their library which sends a strong message about their commitment to the issue and a clear and positive signal to chambers.”
Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group
We would be happy to share our experiences with any other chambers that may wish to embark upon this process.
We are intending to contact the Circuit Offices where we are geographically located across the country to offer this and our policies for them to use, adapt or decide it is not for them. We are aware that many other Chambers are aiming to incorporate a wellbeing policy and we hope that our efforts may assist them.
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.
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