Skip to content

Q logo

What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

In response to COVID, the Trust asked our community partnership team “Learning Works” to launch “The Sanctuary”. Its goal was to provide  additional wellbeing and  resilience to our staff . The sanctuary has helped keep staff safe, feel supported and continue delivering  high quality care during their time of need. As a consequence, this has helped staff return to work and stay at work.

Using a local  community centre, staff access the Sanctuary discreetly, with a sense of detachment from work.  Activities  from talking therapy, meditation, mindfulness, massage and hypnotherapy were offered. A “recharge booth”, a virtual online space, allows staff to connect, talk, recharge, share stories and experiences.

Further partnership working, resulted in  Primary Care and  Care Home colleagues using the facilities. Staff report the Sanctuary has kept them working or return following absence; whilst igniting a passion and awareness of practicing self-care.

Since opening, 950 people have used the Sanctuary.

What does your project aim to achieve?

Aim: To  work with the College to create a Wellbeing Academy that offers our staff the opportunity to gain holistic  qualifications whilst working. Also,  embed  the service and benefits that have already been reaped  from our current offering, in a way that allows a culture for people to maintain wellbeing as part of their day job and as part of their social lifestyle.


  • To offer an increased diverse range of treatment and services through collaborative delivery  with our local college
  • Increase accessibility of the service to our GP partners and across community teams
  • Create an avenue for staff to gain holistic treatment qualifications, through the Academy, whilst working
  • Provide additional placements for apprenticeships for our community
  • Increase capacity and access to the Sanctuary and Academy to our health partners

How will the project be delivered?

We have Board support to diversify our offer, to create a plethora of wellbeing tools and services  to suit everyone.

Next steps:

  • Create a project team
  • Formalise governance processes and stakeholder engagement
  •  Formalise arrangements with our leading local college ask them to work with us to reinvest money back into employment whilst developing apprentices and bridging the gap for unmet need.
  • Employ two apprentices  to set up 2 additional treatment areas. This will help us see between 50 – 75 more people per week.
  • We will partner up with the college  to establish a “wellbeing academy”.  Through accredited learning, our own staff can choose to become practitioners who will be able to become  knowledgeable and empowered around the benefits of maintaining one`s own physical and mental wellness.
  • Use  standardised, recognised psychological assessments with participants to monitor progress of wellbeing
  • Qualitative data will also be gathered for snapshots of how effective the interventions are working.

How is your project going to share learning?

The concept of the Sanctuary is not unique and limited to NHS organisations. It’s uses simple methodology to make a big difference and can be replicated in any organisation or workplace that wants to truly make wellbeing a priority for their employees and partners. we already have had interest from local industry keen to replicate  our model.

As a Trust we aspire to reach every Trust in the UK to create their own version of the sanctuary. Not as a response to COVID but because those that remain and stay well contribute more effectively in their role.

We will share learning through the Q Network and also through presentations, videos, Twitter and regional improvement events.

“Learning works” who hosts the Sanctuary has strong community links in the local area and are keen to share learning of the improvement initiative beyond the healthcare profession.

How you can contribute

  • Ideas and coaching from others always helps a project to succeed
  • Constructive challenge to help us see future risks/cautions
  • Links to support networking for success
  • Sharing golden nuggets of opportunity that we may be blinded from

Plan timeline

31 Oct 2020 Approach Local College with business proposal
30 Nov 2020 Co-produce JD and application process for apprenticeships; recruitment goes live
31 Dec 2020 Apprentices commence induction and work placement; increased timetable of sessions
30 Jan 2021 Apply for "wellbeing acadamy status"; Commence extra therapy sessions
28 Feb 2021 "Wellbeing Academy" Launch; recruit to academy- SWBH and partners
31 Mar 2021 Sanctuary becomes co-functioning; offering wellbeing intervention and training academy
30 Apr 2021 Apprentices and first Acadamy trainees feature in Staff magazine
31 May 2021 Measure improvement based on wellbeing assessments, sessions undertaken, recruits/completors


  1. Hi Mel. Lovely to hear of the work you've done to support staff and your idea to take it forward. I'm working with the Health Foundation to identify opportunities for collaboration and support across Q Exchange.  A quick search of ideas has identified over a dozen projects which might link well with yours.  Two that stand out are Psychological PPE and Improve Staff well-being: creative activity and displays in staff safe spaces.  It might be worth having a look at these and see if you can add some support/gain some feedback to develop your idea further.  There is also a Joy in Work special interest group and a Staff Wellbeing group in the Q community that could also give some feedback. Good luck! Emma

    1. Guest

      Ru Hazarika 1 year ago

      Good morning Emma.

      Myself and Mel appreciate the signposting that you have offered us. We will look at the suggested projects and explore the groups which you have suggested.


      Kindest thanks


  2. Wellbeing of colleagues during C19 is crucial. As well as face-to-face have you also considered any opportunities for virtual support too which may widen the reach? In my organisation, which is a community based service, we have provided a 'virtual wobble room'  and virtual group supervision which have worked much better than we might have initially though. Happy to share info


    1. Guest

      Ru Hazarika 1 year ago

      Thank you Petra for your idea.

      We have a virtual space attached to our Wellbeing Sanctuary called the "recharge booth" which is a safe space to explore and offload anything causing discomfort. It also provides restorative supervision  for staff.

      We would welcome more details of your initiative though.


      Kind regards

Leave a comment

If you have a Q account please log in before posting your comment.

Read our comments policy before posting your comment.

This will not be publicly visible

Please note that you won't be able to edit or delete comments once posted.