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Caitlin qualifies as a mental health champion thanks to Ignition personal development fund

By Helen Capelin


Helen Capelin, Head of Operational Excellence, discusses how Project Manager has used the personal development funding to support friends' and colleagues' well-being .

At Ashfield Meetings & Events we pride ourselves on our flawless delivery for clients. From our venue sourcing, finance and creative teams, to our senior managers and operational staff on site, without exception our people are unbelievably dedicated – paying meticulous attention to detail, consistently going over and above to ensure client satisfaction.

But along with those highest quality standards we set ourselves, we recognise the inevitable pressures they bring to individuals. So when one of our project managers, Caitlin Alborn, took it upon herself to use our Ignition personal development funding to become a ‘Mental Health Champion’ we were hugely supportive, not to mention proud.

Ignition is an initiative we launched two years ago. Each month, we dedicate up to £250 to any member of our team who submits an application for support with a personal development objective. This objective can be home or work-related, it’s totally up to them. The aim is to enable them to expand their skills, knowledge or experience in a particular field, and generally enrich their lives. Previous winners have received funding for some incredibly varied activities such as sky-diving, archery, open water diving courses, A-levels and Japanese woodblock printing!

In Caitlin’s case, she recognised that Ignition could help her progress her long-term interest in mental health and well-being, and she was delighted when she was selected.

“It was a member of my family who first made me aware of the St John’s Ambulance one-day Mental Health Champion course as they’d also completed the training,” explains Caitlin. “I’d always been interested in learning how to support people’s mental health and well-being, so the Ignition funding has given me the opportunity to gain a qualification that will also enable me to support my colleagues and friends.”

Caitlin took part in the course and is now officially a ‘Mental Health Champion.’ In recognition of her commitment to such an important issue, we are now funding her to complete a further two-day course that will qualify her as a ‘Mental Health First-Aider.’

“Ignition is an excellent scheme that highlights the value the company holds in enabling staff to pursue their passions,” adds Caitlin. “In my case, by encouraging my additional qualification, the company is also recognising the significance of supporting the mental health of its people, which means a lot to me and my colleagues. I am looking forward to learning more on how to help people in their careers and day-to-day lives.”

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