As a VRC Lisa Dobinson supports participants in the South of England who need advice and guidance to help them have more good days. Finding ways to be active and support her own wellbeing at work is something that is as important to Lisa as it is to the participants she works with.
Setting positive aims is just one of the techniques Lisa uses to help herself cope when work is challenging. For the last year Lisa has been growing her hair with the aim of cutting it off to donate to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that provides real hair wigs to children and young people who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment.
“It’s lovely to feel the air on my neck again”, says Lisa the day after her visit to the hairdresser on one of the hottest days on the year, when she had 10 inches of thick hair chopped off. “To know my hair is going to be used to make a real hair wig for a child who has lost their hair due to leukaemia brings a smile to my face. It may only be a small part but it’s a part which makes a difference to their self-confidence through, what I imagine, is the most difficult fight of their young life.”
At work Lisa was able to share her plans and information about the charity so other colleagues could get involved in fundraising. The aim was to raise funds to go alongside the hair to cover some of cost of making a real hair wig for a child. Telling her team more about the planned haircut and the good cause behind it in regular team catch ups gave her colleagues an opportunity to get to know more about Lisa and to reciprocate by sharing their own news and information about activities they found that were helping them feel well.
Lisa’s news was soon picked up by the company’s internal communications team so that it could be shared to the wider business. This demonstrated the positive impact volunteering or giving back can have on the individual who’s doing it as well as the charity they are championing and providing inspiration to other employees on how giving support to a good cause can support their own mental wellbeing.
“Maintaining our own mental health is so important, especially when we are supporting other people with theirs” says Lisa. “Giving to a charity doesn’t always have to be monetary we can give our time, donate items we're not using any more, or in my case I gave my hair! I am lucky my hair grows quick, and I know it will go to great use. These small acts of kindness can have the biggest impact on others as well as supporting my own mental health. It fills my heart to know I can make a difference”
Lisa isn’t finished with finding positive activities that can help her focus on building her strengths. Literally. “The next challenge I have set myself is to be able to dead-lift a weight of 113kgs over the coming months – only 3kg to go!,” she says. Lisa loves to keep her colleagues updated on progress towards this ambition. In a remote world it enhances connections and allows other colleagues to share their interesting or challenging things to support their own wellbeing.