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Q and A with Cheryl Smeatham, Working Well

What does your business do?

I work within Knowsley Chamber of Commerce as the Working Well Co-Ordinator and have been in post for six months, although it feels I have been here for much longer. My role within the Chamber is to promote wellbeing in the workplace for businesses within Knowsley.

Funded by Public Health, I am given a budget to encourage businesses to sign up for Working Well and give out grants to support wellbeing initiatives for their staff.

A Workplace Health initiative is one which that supports healthy lifestyle choices and, involves the staff in planning the activity(ies). Working Well is not prescriptive about what a company should introduce or implement, but any activity or resource required must meet the needs of the staff and the working environment.

Can you describe/outline your typical day?

Every day is different as I have the pleasure of going to a wide variety of businesses within the Knowsley area to promote Working Well.

During the day I can visit several businesses discussing the health and wellbeing of their staff and looking for ways in which the Chamber can signpost them to free online courses and or services for their staff to educate and support as required.

In addition, I promote the Working Well Grant which is available to Knowsley business and is up the value of £500.00. SME Businesses can access this grant to provide services within their companies in order to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of their staff. This could be gym equipment, mental health training, mindfulness sessions, healthy eating programmes etc.. This is not prescriptive and depends upon the needs and opinions of the staff. I am also looking to sign up Workplace Champions who can cascade information received from various organisations offering support, invite to our wellbeing events and being a point of contact for any queries the businesses may have in relation to Working Well.

I also promote Knowsley Chamber Membership as this is an excellent networking tool for businesses in Knowsley and fees for Membership are scaled depending upon the size of the business.

My biggest challenge to this role was learning my way around Kirkby Business Parks and I have been caught up in the one way system more than once!!

What motivates you?

Making other people happy

What was the best training you have ever done?

I have been very fortunate in my career to undertake a wealth of training opportunities and would encourage anyone to take whatever training is on offer.

Being a lay member of Education Appeal and Exclusion Panels brings bespoke training aligned to the ever-changing legislation, so this is extremely interesting and also challenging.

I also enjoyed training around the topics of Equality & Diversity and Health & Safety training which has made me acutely aware of the needs of others and how we should make appropriate adjustment to ensure inclusion and safety of individuals.

Most recently, I have achieved a Mental Health First Aid qualification at level 3. In these difficult times, it highlighted to me people can mask their problems and it is important to take notice and signpost accordingly.

What was your favourite subject in school?

Domestic Science

What do you do in your own time when you’re not working?

I love spending time with my grandchildren, who bring me so much pleasure, just doing the simple things like playing board games, cooking with them and generally being a gran. Currently, I am helping my granddaughter with her Brownie badge for Baking.

In addition I have a great long suffering husband who is really supportive in everything I choose to do. We have two young rescue Scottish Terriers who are bonkers and we are attempting to train them!!

I volunteer in a Charity Shop on a weekend, which allows me to give something back and support others.

What are your goals for the next two years?

To be the best that I can be both personally and professionally.

To see every challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow.

To be happy with the decisions I make, respect other people’s decisions as I realise that the only persons behaviour you can influence or change is your own.

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