Active Culture @ Invictus Wellbeing

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In recent months Active Calderdale has been working closely with the children’s mental health charity Invictus Wellbeing at their base in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Invictus know all too well the link between physical activity and improved mental health and were keen to provide opportunities for both the young people they support and staff to be active.

After receiving the green light from Active Calderdale that their funding application had been successful, Invictus Wellbeing took no time in getting started on their plans to embed physical activity into their service. Alongside developing an 'Active for Wellbeing' offer for the young people accessing their services, Invictus also wanted to provide opportunities for staff to be active in and outside of the working day. 

Active Staff Challenges

After partnering with Active Teams to design some Active Staff Challenges, the first walking challenge took place in May to align with National Walking Month. The Challenge, named 'A step in the right direction', allowed staff to collect points based on their movement levels throughout the month. This was co-designed between Invictus and Active Teams to ensure it was the right fit for the staff and volunteer team. 

In total, 16 colleagues took part over the month and were encouraged to do a 15-minute walk each day.  The feedback from those who participated was positive and all have stated the challenge has helped them become more aware of their activity levels during the day. Participants also felt encouraged to be active and that it supported them to re-energise. The team spirit made a real difference when struggling with motivation to do 15 minutes each day as a minimum. 

“Small changes really help to get into good habits. All the staff who have taken part have really enjoyed being able to get out and do more. Even though we all lead busy lives we feel better for moving and being active!” 

Katie Dewhurst - Wellbeing Practitioner and Activity Coordinator at Invictus

As a result of the challenge, staff members who are office based now take part in ‘take 10’, a daily 10 minutes away from their desks to help clear their minds and move their bodies. This has helped people who struggle with the afternoon dip in energy leading them to be more productive towards the end of the day and feeling happier at work. 

“Active teams and the challenge has definitely created a culture shift in the organisation which I'm really pleased about as people are taking 10/15 minutes to do a walk away from their desk each day” 

Danny Hutchinson - CEO of Invictus Wellbeing

Working in a mental health charity can be very physically and emotionally draining for staff and volunteers. Supporting staff to be active and take time out of their day to de-stress has seen Invictus put staff wellbeing at the forefront of their ethos and helped foster a supportive team culture.

Planning Ahead

Invictus plan to create a working environment where staff can be active daily. A further staff challenge will be taking place in the summer months which will be aimed at bringing the staff team together to undertake a joint challenge leading to further rapport building and improved wellbeing in the workplace. Invictus will also continue to develop its young people’s physical activity offer with a focus on summer activities. 

If you would like to find out more about working with Active Calderdale or how we can help your service or organisation, please e-mail