Leading Symposium Makes Health and Wellbeing Everyone’s Business

25th January 2018

Can pets improve our wellbeing? How can we be happier at work? Is partnership-working the key to healthier communities? These are some of the big questions for 2018 being debated at a leading health and wellbeing event next month.

Now in its sixth year, The Wellbeing Symposium takes place on Wednesday 21 February at a new venue, the Ashford International Hotel. The event, sponsored by Ashford Borough Council, will showcase One You, an initiative to help those living and working in the county step towards a healthier lifestyle.

Taking place from 8.30am to 3.30pm, The Wellbeing Symposium’s talks, workshops, Q&A session and marketplace zone will equip delegates with practical tools to build a wellbeing strategy.

The event is CPD approved – attending will earn delegates seven CPD points and a certificate to put towards a professional development accreditation.

From digital health tools, stress awareness and employee happiness to practical ways to improve wellbeing in the community, plus tips to adopt healthier, active lifestyle, topics covered on the day can be applied to workplace environment, community and to inform and inspire individual lifestyle changes.

The packed speaker programme, which explores latest research, debates and trends in the health and wellbeing sector, will feature:

Lord Richard Layard –  happiness economics guru and co-founder of global movement, Action for Happiness. Lord Layard will look at how we can become happier at work, how to support employee’s mental health and deliver wellbeing and resilience training for managers.

Steve Brown – former GB Wheelchair rugby captain and TV presenter. Having recently returned from a journey one BBC One’s ‘Without Limits: Vietnam’, Steve Brown shares how he overcame a life-changing accident that left him paralysed, and the work he does to support to in education, the workplace and the community today.

Dr Sandra McCune – Scientific Leader for Human-Animal Interaction Research at the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition – the global science centre for Mars Petcare UK. Sandra will share findings from 30 years of research that show the positive impact that pets have on human health and wellbeing. She’ll open a discussion on how places like schools, workplaces and other public spaces can be more welcoming to pets so that we can all live healthier, more active lives.

Councillor Brad Bradford – Cabinet Member for Wellbeing & Community Safety, Ashford Borough Council. Cllr Bradford will outline programmes and projects that are contributing to health and wellbeing of residents in Ashford. Using the Ashford area as an exemplar, his session will introduce the One You initiative to help adults avoid future diseases caused by modern lifestyles.

Christine Hancock, Co-Founder of C3 Collaborating for Health – Christine Hancock was a CEO in the NHS, CEO of the Royal College of Nursing, and president of the International Council of Nurses. Christine is the founder and director of C3 Collaborating for Health, a London-based global charity that addresses the risk factors (tobacco use, physical inactivity, poor diet/harmful use of alcohol) of chronic disease. C3 uses an innovative m-health tool, CHESS™, to engage community members in a data-driven investigation about barriers to wellbeing in their neighbourhoods. Her session will look at how we can effectively engage communities to improve their health and wellbeing.

Dr Paul Williams, Managing Director  Health Services for MAXIMUS UK – Paul, an Occupational Medicine specialist with over 30 years in the field, will focus on using digital tools to improve health and wellbeing. Dr Williams will also launch MAXUMUS UK’s new app for the nursing profession, designed in conjunction with C3 Collaborating for Health.

Rachael Ford, Manager for Healthy Lifestyle Service at Mytime Active – Rachael Ford, from Mytime Active, a leading provider in wellbeing services, has a track record of leading high quality targeted and universal programmes, including physical activity, nutrition, weight management and behavioural change. Her session will focus on adult and family weight management and lifestyle service.

Heidi Allan, Head of Insights and Engagement, Neyber – Heidi recently published a ground-breaking report, ‘The DNA of Financial Wellbeing’ covering over 10,000 UK employees examining the state of employees’ financial wellbeing. Financial concerns are the biggest cause of stress in the UK workplace, Heidi’s session will examine the impact that financial stress has on health and wellbeing.

A Wellbeing Question Time feature will give delegates to opportunity to quiz a panels of representatives from all corners of the wellbeing arena. For 2018 the panel will feature Alice Chapman-Hatchett Director of Europe Health Centre, Rory Murphy, Chair of Ensign Retirement Plan Trustees Limited, Tracey Kerly Chief Executive Ashford Borough Council, Michaela Nuttall Nursing Associate for C3 Collaborating and Caroline McBride Golding Homes.

The Marketplace is new for 2018, a zone where delegates can meet face-to-face with a diverse pool of health and wellbeing specialists and take part in demonstrations. They can take part in making healthy workplace snacks with Creatabot, find out about counselling services and enjoy a head massage courtesy of Therapy Partners and learn about The Mason Mile, a new exercise initiative that promotes inclusivity in exercise.

Tickets are available from for £149, which include day admission and a healthy lunch.

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