Within the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, lifelong learning is supported and encouraged both formally and informally. Whilst formal learning will ensure a new qualification is obtained or promotional prospects are increased, informal learning is equally as important and encouraged to increase personal, professional and mental stimulation. The Trust, as an employer of over 22,000 staff, believes it is important that staff continue to develop and grow both on a professional and personal level.
The Trust’s Here4U activities are a means by which our staff continue to learn, albeit in an informal manner. Here4U offers an extensive range of free activities for staff, to support and enable good spiritual, physical, emotional and mental health and well-being. Developing a new skill helps you learn things faster over time. Learning keeps your mind engaged and your body active.
Here4U activities are open to all Belfast Trust staff of all ages, genders, abilities and are free of charge. An extensive range of activities are on offer including pilates, football, choir, zumba, boxing, tabata, yoga and spin. Skill based activities such as flower arranging, car mechanics, photography, guitar lessons and dance are also offered. In addition, staff can attend taster sessions of furniture up-cycling and mindfulness. Our staff are encouraged to attend a new class, learn a new skill and have fun!
The demand for places in each activity often outstrips supply which is a great indication of their popularity. The most recent evaluation showed that 564 staff registered to take part in 24 different Here4U activities and 458 staff members were granted a place. Respondents were asked about their enjoyment of the activity. Attendees could select as many reasons for enjoyment as they wished from a list.
- 80% stated that the most enjoyable part of the activity was because it was good exercise
- 74.52% staff liked the location of the activity
- 70.06% advised that it was the instructor who made the experience most enjoyable
- 63.69% stated the time of the programme made it most enjoyable
- 59.87% stated that the activity was good fun.
- 30.57% stated meeting others was the primary reason for attending.
- 29.94% enjoyed trying something new.
Participants were asked if there had been any benefit from participating in the programme.
Benefits of Here4U:
- 83.44% confirmed that the activity helped to de-stress
- 80.25% confirmed that the activity helped to improve their physical health
- 68.15% confirmed that the activity helped to improve mental health
- 52.23% stated that they benefited from learning something new
- 28.66% stated the activity helped to make new friends
The Here 4 U programme was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic; however on-line classes resumed in October 2020 highlighting our commitment to supporting lifelong learning and staff health and wellbeing.
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