Keeping our team healthy and our Cycle to Spain Challenge

14th May 2020

Peter James Homes is and always has been a true extended family, with the health and wellbeing of each and every employee top of our priority list. As a result, Peter James Homes and the wider McCann Group have implemented a range of tactics to ensure that both the mental and physical health of our team is considered throughout what is a very uncertain time for many.

Communication is more important than ever before, despite the physical distance measures put in place between us to overcome the virus. With this in mind, all of our employees are now being contacted by their line managers regularly via telephone or Microsoft Teams in order to update them on the latest government advice and company processes. These calls also provide a much-needed boost and a chance for individuals to talk through their day-to-day tasks or discuss any potential concerns. For additional support, our Employee Assistance Programme is also available internally offering guidance, support and access to a suite of specialist materials.

Mental health
Mental Health Awareness Week runs from the 18th – 24th May and we are currently seeking volunteers internally to share their stories and experiences with others in order to open a dialogue within the team around the subject of mental health. These stories and experiences could range from living with and managing stress, anxiety and panic disorders, depression, bipolar, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorders), PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and eating disorders to name a few. We have also introduced weekly mindfulness exercises for employees which will soon be accessible externally via our website and social media channels.

Keeping spirits high is vital. In order to drown out some of the negativity surrounding coronavirus, we’re making a conscious effort to share positive new stories from around the world with the team and show the actions being taken by others in order to remain optimistic and happy throughout the lockdown. It’s important for people to read the latest developments surrounding the virus, but it’s just as important to focus on the positive stories coming out of this situation and look at how communities are pulling together to support one another in order to remain in a positive frame of mind and take each day as it comes.

Physical health
As well as communicating and focusing on positivity, daily exercise is scientifically proven to have a beneficial impact on mental health. With this in mind, we are encouraging our staff to make the most of their daily exercise allowance by contributing towards our internal Cycle to Spain challenge. As a team we’re hoping to cover the distance from our Nottingham head office to Madrid and back, all from the comfort of our own homes or through our daily allowance of outdoor exercise within social distancing and lockdown guidelines. The distance we need to cover is 2,324 miles and employees can log the miles they walk, run or cycle during the lockdown through an online portal.

To drive our team on we’re asking you, our friends, residents and contacts across the industry, to donate to our group Just Giving page available by clicking here – with all funds raised going straight to NHS Charities Together to support key workers in their fight against coronavirus. No amount is too small and every penny will make a big difference. We thank you in advance for your support and we will keep you updated on our progress!

On the subject of exercise, all of our staff now have access to discounted gym memberships – giving everyone the opportunity to take advantage of a range of virtual fitness classes in order to remain active in their own homes and get a much-needed endorphin boost.

Michael Valentine, EDI Manager of the McCann Group, recognises the importance of employee wellbeing, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. He is delighted to see the company investing in a range of wellbeing measures and hopes that by pulling together, staying active and being positive, everyone can come out the other side fitter and stronger both physically and mentally.

“In times like these, we want everyone to feel valued and supported and we hope that our wellness program reinforces this ethos,”

“It’s important for us to equip our employees with the tools they need to navigate everyday life because at the moment, everyone is in completely unchartered territory. Science proves that by being positive, communicating with others and remaining active and healthy, times like these can become easier to navigate. We appreciate that it is an extremely difficult time and no one should feel ashamed or alone if they require support or help in managing their mental health. The management team is always on hand should anyone need someone to talk to or confide in,”

He continues, “We sincerely hope that our employees and their families remain safe and healthy at this time. We are incredibly proud of the way the team has pulled together to support both the company and each other throughout what are undeniably very testing circumstances.”

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