Every day, thousands of civil servants are working behind locked doors dealing with the stressful and often pressurised environment of life within a prison.
Ryan Francis is responsible for improving the wellbeing of staff at HMP Winchester, a job that he moved into a couple of years ago when he wanted to sort out his own work- life balance.
He knows the difference even a small change can make to a person’s wellbeing.
“When people are so busy and so rushed with different and conflicting priorities, just the simple act of giving them the opportunity to take five minutes out and have a brew can be a huge benefit. It gives you time to think about yourself, rather than thinking of others all the time. Quiet, reflecting time is hugely important.”
From holding drop-in sessions, promoting different activities like yoga to hosting mini wellbeing events, Ryan gains a great deal of satisfaction seeing the positive difference his role makes to other people.
This motivation has also driven him to be a member of his Union and to sign up to become a Volunteer for The Charity for Civil Servants. He realised that this new role provided many crossovers with the aims of the Charity.
“The other week I went to a road-show for the Charity and handed out leaflets about what they do. At the same time as helping the Charity I was also able to build some relevant connections for my role back in the prison as there were good contacts there.”
Ryan has also been successful at guiding colleagues to the Charity’s services. For example, he advised a member of his team who desperately needed to move house to contact the Charity. They were able to help her with essential items she needed for the home including a carpet and a washing machine.