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Guidance on how to introduce wellbeing policies and initiatives and on tackling a wellbeing issue in chambers.

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Examples of successful wellbeing initiatives adopted by chambers, Specialist Bar Associations and the Inns of Court.

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Red Lion Chambers

This case study may be useful if you are looking for examples of increasing awareness of wellbeing and/or promoting wellbeing initiatives.

Red Lion Chambers (‘RLC’) offer tea in a common room at 4pm each day to bring members of chambers, pupils and staff together. This means everyone takes a short break from work and has time to talk to others in a relaxed setting.

Chambers has also established a mentoring programme and appointed a Wellbeing Officer to ensure that wellbeing initiatives are taken forward within chambers. Chambers is about to instigate members evenings just so members can get together.

What was the business (other case) for action?

RLC were concerned that members of chambers were not spending enough time together during the working day or taking any breaks from work. They also wanted to ensure that senior and junior members (including pupils) had an opportunity to speak to one another in an informal setting. They believe that a short break is important for members’ health and wellbeing particularly when working on papers in chambers.

What did the Chambers do?

Communal space and (daily) afternoon tea

They have created comfortable space with suitable lighting chairs, tea and coffee facilities; biscuits and fruit have been made available. The space is now a dedicated ‘common room’ and is free for members to meet at other times if they wish.

Promoting Mentoring

18RLC has established a well-supported mentoring programme to provide 1: 1 support and advice to all practitioners.

Appointment of a Wellbeing Officer

Chambers has appointed a wellbeing officer to promote wellbeing and drive forward future initiatives.

“Red Lion Chambers’ tea initiative is a useful reminder that a small initiative can have a positive impact on wellbeing in a workplace. Chambers also demonstrate a commitment to wellbeing in their appointment of a wellbeing officer and through their mentoring programme.”

Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group

What were the results?

Chambers’ Tea has created a daily reminder of the importance of getting together and provides an opportunity for people to meet and take time out to discuss anything they wish to. The afternoon facilitates decompression and allows members to speak to other members who they see infrequently. Work and non-work topics are regularly discussed allowing for a strengthening of ties. This is particularly important to the very senior and very junior members of chambers who appear to benefit from such contact. Other members of chambers have also reported enjoying attending tea and taking time out to talk to others.

Contact between members who often work remotely due to their criminal practice has been enhanced.

Senior and Junior members meet more frequently in an informal setting.

Chambers staff are also invited to use the room at less busy times.

Tips

If you introduce an activity like afternoon tea:

  • Ensure that people regularly knock on doors to encourage attendance until the all members have developed a habit of attending;
  • Encourage clerks to remind members to attend;
  • Ensure food and drinks are well stocked in advance and the room is welcoming (i.e. heated and well supplied).

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