Posted: 13 April 2022

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Stress Awareness Month. It takes place every April in a bid to increase awareness of the causes and cures of stress and educating people on the benefits to talking about how they feel. Looking after our team and their mental health is a hot topic for Ashorne Hill and an area we focus on for all of our team.

Today we talk to duty manager Paul who is part of Ashorne’s wellbeing team. He recently organised a team wide challenge to bring us closer together and encourage us to get outdoors.  Here he tells us about how we invite our entire team to be aware of stress amongst colleagues.

Tell us a little bit about your time at Ashorne Hill so far, how long you’ve worked here and what you do?

I have enjoyed my seven years working at Ashorne Hill and feel lucky enough to say it feels like my second home.

As a duty manager, I have a ‘Customer First’ flexible role which includes providing support for a variety of teams; setting up meeting rooms, meet and greets, health and safety, security and access for customers and my fellow colleagues.

It’s national stress awareness month so we’re putting the spotlight onto team wellbeing. You recently organised a challenge to pull the team together and get them walking. Can you tell us a bit about the challenge?

As part of Ashorne Hill’s wellbeing team, I’ve recently organised a virtual walk. This saw team members record their weekly steps to progress a virtual walker along the length of the UK from Land’s End to John O’Groats. I thought this challenge would be a great way to encourage team spirit and get them out walking. It took us 58 days to walk the 1083 mile route and I believe it gave the team a none-work related common goal, became a talking point, and resulted in a unified sense of achievement.

You have quite an active role at Ashorne Hill and are active in your spare time too. Tell us a bit about what you do in your spare time and why this is encouraged at Ashorne Hill? 

As an active person, not only in my job role but also personally, I believe that exercise is closely related to wellbeing. I have always been a keen walker and mountaineer and in 2009, I embarked on a plan to cross the four nations of the British Isles by their coast-to-coast routes. This ambitious challenge cumulatively took: 88 days, 1200 miles, six attempts and three years to complete.

The pinnacle of my walking career must be when I climbed Mont Blanc at 40 years old. Being alone on the summit with three friends was a special moment. Another occurred more recently. Walking up Snowdon with my daughter, in March of this year, we were treated to a glorious sunrise on the summit.

Being active and doing what we enjoy is actively encouraged at Ashorne Hill.  Unlike many other hospitality businesses, there are opportunities to work “normal” hours during the week to give you time with your family or doing the things you need to to unwind in the evenings and at weekends.  It’s all about work/life balance and we recognise the happier the team member, the better the service we’ll deliver.

What else does Ashorne Hill provide and do to focus on team wellbeing?

By providing a dedicated wellbeing team, a wellbeing room, promoting outdoor meetings and an active lifestyle, Ashorne Hill puts wellbeing at the top of the agenda.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

In my spare time, I try to run 5km a week and enjoy flying my drone. Both activities get me out in the countryside, which I feel is necessary and beneficial for my physical and mental wellbeing.

Ashorne Hill exudes positivity and creativity, what would your most positive saying be?

I love this positive quote from poet Robert Browning – “I hold that a man (and of course a woman) should strive to the uttermost for his life’s set prize” – It highlights that it’s good to have a goal to work towards.