It's Mental Health Month at Poached Creative!

This month we’re focusing on creating a mentally healthy workplace in the office. 

We were inspired to look at mental health due to our recent work on Free Minds, a youth-led campaign to raise awareness of how mental illness affects young people. We've also been inspired by our work on Off Centre’s Tackling Gang Violence report, which looks at the psychosocial issues behind gang violence, and our Oii My Size project – a youth-led website that tackles healthy relationships for teenagers.

It’s an important and common issue, with 1 in 6 people working with a mental illness at any given time, and absenteeism due to mental illness costing £8.4 billion annually to UK employers .
Our experience training unemployed and disadvantaged people in communications, many of whom experience mental health problems, have shown us the positive difference that meaningful work can have in people’s lives. Many of our trainees go on to volunteer or work in our office, becoming a valuable part of the team. 

So we’re confident that our office can support people with mental illness – but we want to be the best we can be! So we asked Twitter how to create a mentally healthy workplace.
We had a great response, with people advocating:
* flexibility,
* looking out for and respecting one another, and
* confidential support.

Here are our favourites answers from Twitter:

What’s your top tip for creating a mentally healthy workplace? Tweet us @poachedcreative

The People's Business is our business

The People’s Business Social Enterprise UK’s State of Social Enterprise Survey published this week reveals a thriving sector full of promise, optimism and innovative ideas. In short: the social enterprise sector is thriving. 

It’s important to us here at Poached Creative for two reasons. 

1. It shows the sector in action
We designed and proofread the report, commissioned the photography and worked with Social Enterprise UK to ensure it stood out from the crowd. 

The project enabled us to provide work experience opportunities for two young photographers. It also provided paid work for our former trainees, proofreader Emma, and project assistant Tobias, who co-ordinated the photoshoot with five featured social enterprises.  

Cardine Martin and Joel Witter gained valuable experience assisting the photographer, Agenda from Visual Marvelry, on the professional photoshoots.
Behind the scenes with Agenda at the Jamie's
Italian photoshoot.  Photo by Cardine Martin
Cardine describes her role on the shoots for Belu Water at Jamie's Italian and Elvis and Kresse:
“I was a photographer’s assistant. I prepared the equipment by setting up the tripod and checking the lighting and memory card. I also helped to choose the location and I put the clients at ease.”

She says she now understands what's involved in ‘doing a photoshoot’ and has gained confidence in her own work through the process

2. We're leading a global movement
The second reason is to do with being part of an exciting, global social enterprise movement, with social enterprises in the UK leading the way.
Social enterprises represent a new and effective blueprint for doing business. In the UK the sector is growing rapidly, with an annual contribution to the economy valued at over £24 billion. In our current ‘doom and gloom filled’ economic climate, this is encouraging news.

Social enterprises are flourishing precisely because they are creative, innovative, confident and diverse. You are just as likely to see women and people from different ethnic backgrounds in the boardroom as you are unlikely to see them in more traditional set ups. It is also common to find dynamic groups of passionate young people who are creating solutions to self-identified problems - the award-winning Oii My Size project is a good example.
Social enterprise could just be the answer that the nation needs. Instead of demonising people who are unemployed, marginalised and overlooked, the sector sees people as part of the solution
Take a look at the innovative work from featured organisations Elvis and Kresse, Connection Crew, Belu Water and Bounce Back. 
Download the full report from the Social Enterprise UK website and join the conversation at #peoplesbusiness