Established in 2005, Footasylum is a leading retailer of fashion streetwear and sportswear. Based in Rochdale and with a network of 70 stores across the UK, it prides itself on the upbeat, passionate and creative staff it employs. With its work hard, play hard ethos and predominantly young staff profile, compounded with the fast moving and competitive nature of high street retailing, the company is taking a conscientious approach in supporting the mental health of its teams by working with Able Futures.
“We have partnered with the Able Futures Mental Health Support Service to ensure we have quick and easy access to mental health experts who are local to our widely-spread teams,” explains Wellbeing Nurse, Lindsay Cunane.
Based at Footasylum’s Sandbrook Park headquarters in Rochdale, Lindsay oversees the mental and physical health of 3,000 colleagues across office, warehousing and UK-wide store locations, working closely with the in-house HR team to promote and protect the wellbeing of employees.
She continues: “I work part time and the company is always growing so it is vital that I have reliable, professional help to signpost people to. Able Futures is an immense asset to us as a business. We can offer a service which contacts the participant within one working day and begins planning immediately. The wait for help is usually the most difficult part if you’re experiencing mental health issues – this is a lifeline.”
The Access to Work Mental Health Support Service is a Department for Work and Pensions funded programme and is delivered by Able Futures, led by employability specialist Ingeus. It operates across Great Britain and provides a fee-free service to all, to help people with mental health difficulties have more good days.
“We have partnered with the Able Futures Mental Health Support Service to ensure we have quick and easy access to mental health experts who are local to our widely-spread teams,” says Footasylum Wellbeing Nurse, Lindsay Cunane.
While attending the Health and Wellbeing at Work Conference at the NEC, Lindsay learned of the free support offered by Able Futures. Ingeus Business Account Manager Angela Han was soon helping to roll out the service to Footasylum leaders at Sandbrook Park and has plans to present the service directly to the warehouse population.
“We created a wellbeing pack to distribute across the company with direct contact information for Able Futures,” says Lindsay. “Our teams are expanding rapidly and we aim to promote from within. It’s important that we keep reiterating the help available to anyone feeling anxious, overwhelmed or depressed. Able Futures helps anyone in work, or currently taking time off sick, and offers up to nine months’ one to one support from a vocational rehabilitation consultant, for which we give time away from the business to meet up if wished.
“I feel other businesses are unaware of this government-funded initiative and are paying out a small fortune to private companies, when there’s free, expert help available.”
“Performance and productivity are of course important,” Lindsay concludes, “but it’s not all about work. We are passionate in making Footasylum a vibrant, fun place to be for our staff and customers alike. Life pressures can come from anywhere, at work or at home, and we need to support our people have the very best days they can. I have referred many colleagues to Able Futures and the outcomes are already proving very beneficial.”
“Able Futures is an immense asset to us as a business. We can offer a service which contacts the participant within one working day and begins planning immediately. The wait for help is usually the most difficult part if you’re experiencing mental health issues – this is a lifeline.”