Health and wellbeing initiative supporting council colleagues


The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 caused an unprecedented challenge on the council and its workforce, with a key concern being how to sustain the health and wellbeing of more than 12,000 officers. The council focused on doing all it could to enable every colleague to feel healthy, happy, valued and supported to be able to perform at their best, reflecting key values of the organisation. A range of support was offered, including a dedicated wellbeing team, three whole workforce surveys and personal callbacks, wellbeing champions and a #BeWell staff bulletin.


We wanted to do all that we could to enable every colleague to say that ‘It feels like I count’ despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic and lockdown, and especially to ensure ‘offline’ colleagues were included and engaged via frontline managers and staff networks. For the work to be successful, it needed to move at an precedented pace, involving stakeholders from across the organisation and also being completely iterative, constantly evolving in response to local need and national guidance. 

What has been delivered?

  • Three whole workforce wellbeing pulse surveys conducted and offered a personal call back. More than 200 people requested call backs and were able to directly access help
  • Established a dedicated wellbeing team plus a “Core Wellbeing Group” to oversee the work and join with other key Covid response projects
  • Invested in developing our 100+ network of wellbeing champions.
  • Created #BeWell staff bulletin, containing up to date wellbeing information.
  • Offered peer support sessions (provided by our staff networks)
  • "Mental Health First Aiders" took calls around the clock.
  • Occupational Health team took and actioned thousands of calls from staff and managers
  • Agreed six core Wellbeing Principles with the Corporate Leadership Team:
  1. Everybody matters
  2. Low/no threshold to access support
  3. Holistic & personalised wellbeing
  4. Support should be based on best available evidence for what will make a difference
  5. Responsibility for wellbeing sits at an individual, team and organisation 
  6. Support will stay in place for as long as is needed

What was the impact/next steps ?

  • Developed a quality coherent corporate-wide identity and ‘brand’ for wellbeing interventions
  • #TeamLeedsBeWell allowed us to package our offer and signpost more easily to credible sources it was quickly adopted and shared by the workforce.
  • The #BeWell bulletin was the first publication of its nature that went out to every single online staff member and it received really positive feedback.
  • Findings of the three pulse surveys carried out in May, June and October 2020 gave clear indications of how well we are doing, with a consistently strong positive feeling for the support being offered to officers.