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 The Bristol becomes first hospitality company in the South-West to sign the Time to Change Employer Pledge

Bristol, 18 July 2019: Earlier this week, Pat King, CEO of the Doyle Collection, and Mark Payne, General Manager of The Bristol (www.doylecollection.com/hotels/the-bristol-hotel), signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge in front of staff in the hotel’s ballroom, promising that the hotel will raise awareness of mental health in the workplace. In doing so, the hotel became the first hospitality organisation in the South-West of England to commit to the programme.

Time to Change (https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/), England's most ambitious campaign to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people who experience mental health problems, is run by the two mental health charities, Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

 
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  Mark Payne signing the pledge; The Bristol team celebrating the Time to Change commitment

To demonstrate its commitment, prior to signing the pledge The Bristol appointed six Wellbeing Champions, who organised monthly team activities including a Wellbeing Lunch and helped upskill team members and leaders in matters of wellbeing and leadership soft skills; three of the Champions (along with 3 other team members) also completed a two-day Mental Health First Aid course, so that they can all assist colleagues.

The Wellbeing Champions have also introduced ongoing activities to maintain the focus on mental health throughout the year; for example, a Time to Talk day in February, a mental health week in May, a Wellbeing Festival for the whole month of June and a Belonging Day (to celebrate diversity and inclusion) in August.

Other initiatives introduced in the last 12 months that support team wellbeing include Length of Service Days (additional days off work for those who have worked for the company for over 1 year), an Employee Assistance Programme (allowing staff to speak to an external provider confidentially if the need arises), and a Step Forward Day (an annual day’s paid leave to enable employees to give a day’s work to a charity or good cause of their choice).

The Bristol has now joined over 1000 organisations nationally (including Tesco, Barclays, Marks & Spencer and Stagecoach), employing over 2 million people, that have committed to changing the way they think and act about mental health in the workplace.

The signing of the Time to Change pledge underlines work already done by The Bristol and its parent company, the Doyle Collection, which achieved a ranking of 23 in the UK’s Best Workplaces 2019 (for companies employing between 251 and 1000 employees).

Says Mark Payne, “Working in the hotel industry is great fun, but it can also be tough as we are often working long hours, under a great deal of pressure, late into the evenings and at weekends when most people are with friends or family. Therefore, it is very important to us as a company that we do all we can to support every employee’s physical and mental health, which is why I am proud to have signed the Time to Change pledge”.

Adds Pat King, “Having worked in hospitality for over 20 years, I am fully aware of the difficulty in trying to maintain a good work/life balance, which is why I have always placed great emphasis on providing all-round support for Doyle Collection employees. I am extremely impressed by the positive steps that The Bristol has taken to further support team wellbeing over the last year and I am therefore delighted to add my signature to the Time for Change pledge”.

Jo Loughran, Director of Time to Change said: “We’re delighted to see The Bristol take the Time to Change Employers Pledge. By signing the pledge and introducing a Wellbeing Festival, as well as an Employee Assistance Programme, it is demonstrating a real commitment to changing the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.

“We know it can be hard to talk about mental health, which is why we work with employers to encourage staff at all levels to open up; to talk and to listen. Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless, but with the right support, those of us with mental health problems can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life. Everyone’s attitude makes a difference and it’s fantastic to see organisations like The Bristol taking the lead.”