Introducing B4’s Wellbeing Leader, Natalie Davis
Natalie Davis is the founder of Wellbeing Generation and the Wellbeing Girl and has a background in physical activity and sports development. She will also be heading up B4’s new Wellbeing Group launching in March. Here Natalie speaks to B4’s Richard Rosser about what prompted Natalie to make a career out of wellbeing.
“I’m interested in making the nation more physically active. I’ve worked in the industry for about 17 years and quite recently I realised that being physically active was only part of the jigsaw.
“Personally, I’ve always struggled with my own mental health and wellbeing. I had OCD from a very, very young age and I had a really bad episode of OCD in my early 20s. This all made me realise the importance of having the right tools for our mental wellbeing as well as our physical body. A massive passion of mine is to normalise giving ourselves ‘mindset tools’ to help our mental wellbeing. The best way to explain this is that you wouldn’t wake up and run a marathon without doing any training…well the same is true of your mind, it needs training for the challenges that the world throws at us and there’s been quite a few recently!
“We need to map out the tools and go on the journey and actually be patient. It takes 28 days to build a new habit and seven days for a lifestyle change. Following my own experiences, I had to relearn my own tools, go on that journey and understand what I needed to do to support myself.
“Then I realised there would be a lot of other people that don’t have these tools, so I went on a coaching course and trained with Co-Active Coaching about three and a half years ago because it was really important to help other people to move forward. I think we can spend a lot of time in the past but even though it’s important to understand what’s happened, it’s even more important to get closer to who we’re becoming and have the right tools to get there.
“So, for me, that coaching journey was really insightful. I got to ask lots of difficult questions like ‘what do I really care about?’, ‘Who am I?’, ‘Who are you without the labels of ‘Dad’, ‘sister’, ‘friend’, ‘doctor’?’ “Who is your authentic self at your core?’
“I then turned this coaching into development programmes, which include The Wellbeing Girl, but then it occurred to me that this was only one part of the jigsaw because I wanted to be able to tackle the stigma on more of a national level. For me, corporations were the vehicle to do that because they have the audience and can really leverage change. That’s why our ‘Wellbeing Generation Make A Change Programme’ is our flagship programme because it helps employers to support employees to make a change, a positive change. It goes without saying that if their employees are healthier and happier, then they’re going to be more productive, happy and efficient in their jobs. The employer will have a more resilient workforce and a lower turnover of staff, less staff sickness etc….”
Natalie only launched the business in March last year and by her own admission it’s been something of a ‘test and measure’ process. “My passion was always coaching the coaches to run a business. They come out of their course with a qualification but they don’t often have the tools to run a business or set themselves up to become a successful coach full time. So, our Passionate Generation is to basically give those coaches the tools so we broker the right coach into the right workplace. We have about eight wellbeing generation coaches, all with different backgrounds that we then connect to the right business. It’s almost like a matchmaking service so I match the coaches to the right businesses.
“I personally do a lot of work with charities like Active Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire Youth and Aspire. I’d like to get into HR, law and accountancy where there’s a real kind of dip in motivation and drive and the recovery from COVID is perhaps harder. I hear from a lot of people that ‘we’re not the same person that I was two years ago, but I’m not sure who I’m becoming’. There’s a certain amount of disconnect. A lot of people are finding themselves in limbo, not knowing who they are, what they want, what makes them happy. They’ve come off the hamster wheel and had time to reflect and that’s been a better process for some than others.”
As if all of that wasn’t enough, Natalie also has an ambition to grow the Wellbeing Girl franchise into forty-seven areas. The leaders of each of the franchises will be given business backing and tasked with going into their areas and making a difference for, initially, girls but there is an anticipation to deliver a programme for boys in due course.
And on top of all of that, great news for B4 Members in that Natalie has agreed to be B4’s Wellbeing Leader and will be hosting a monthly wellbeing webinar for B4 Members interested in finding out more about wellbeing in the workplace for themselves and their colleagues.
“I’m really excited about it. I’ve said to you that it can be quite isolating, working in your own business, even if you’ve got people to bounce ideas off. I love the idea of a joint approach with other B4 members because I think there has to be a local joint approach to be able to explore some key themes. A lot of those will be collective issues, because obviously we’re all going through a massive state of transition, but to be able to support each other and then learn through the process will be great for everyone. This conversation is only just starting to be normalised in the workplace and there’s a long way to go.”
If you’re interested in joining Natalie’s B4 Wellbeing Group discussions, please contact her at email@example.com. The first session will take place on Wednesday 23rd March, 12pm to 1pm.
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