23 May 2020

LIFEWORKS LOCKDOWN BLOG #5

The last few weeks have been hectic and unsettling for so many of us. It has been challenging for everyone to get settled into a routine and to get used to a new way of working which looks so different for us all. At RBLI LifeWorks, we are so proud of our team and our beneficiaries who have shown sheer determination and resilience during this period, ensuring that COVID-19 does not overly impact on our delivery and ultimately the support our beneficiaries receive.

As the tide starts to turn, we are starting to welcome more members of the Armed Forces Employment Support Team (who deliver LifeWorks and more) back from furlough. This week our LifeWorks & Families Advisor, James S returned and he said “its great to be back doing what we do and I’m excited at being able to provide support to our beneficiaries using a whole new approach. I reckon, out of the ashes of the coronavirus we can re-shape the way we work to spearhead the veterans and families space.”

Nearly 10 years of LifeWorks

Can you believe that it’s been almost 10 years since the inception of LifeWorks? During which time we have delivered the programme to over 1500 of our nation’s veterans and more than 800 military family members who have hugely benefitted from our support. We are now taking the opportunity to conduct a full review into the LifeWorks programme to ensure it remains current and our beneficiaries receive the best service we can offer. We are working with veterans, referral partners and other key stakeholders to gather their feedback so watch this space for updates in due course!

Our progress so far

During the 8 weeks of lock down with a significantly reduced team, we have delivered 89 1:1 and group video coaching sessions, and we have also supported 184 veterans through ReachBack calls. It is clear that there is much anxiety about furlough, redundancy, and self-employment, so we are pleased to know we are still making a difference.

“I FEEL IN A POSITIVE PLACE AND THIS HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE WEEK I HAVE JUST SPENT WITH A TEAM OF INCREDIBLE PEOPLE.”

The link between LifeWorks and mental health

As we come to the end of #mentalhealthawarenessweek it is a good opportunity for us to highlight the link between LifeWorks mental health and meaningful employment. Having a fulfilling and rewarding job can increase veterans self-worth, provide financial stability and increase a feeling of purpose – as well as improving mental health and wellbeing. We spend much of our lives at work and so it is important that we enjoy our jobs.

Feedback from our beneficiaries often highlights the invaluable impact that this programme is having on their mental health. Recently a former RAF JNCO wrote to us and said “I feel in a positive place and this has everything to do with the week I have just spent with a team of incredible people.”

Our team have been hosting virtual coaching sessions and we know this is the right approach having received some feedback from the Army Welfare Service this week. “I believe that this type of training and development is just right for the current work and home life our community and this type of engagement really seems to be helping with mental resilience”

We encourage our readers to have a good look at www.headfit.org the Royal Foundation’s latest initiative that provides the necessary support to the mental wellbeing of the military community.

Top Tips!

Okay, we usually share just one top tip but good mental health and job searching are so important so here are our top three!

1. Talk about job seeking, don’t underestimate the power of networking.

2. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small!

3. Be kind to yourself by managing your expectations and setting realistic goals!