Funded through Creative Wales, the WellBeing Facilitators programme is a partnership between CULT Cymru - the Creative Unions Learning Together programme and mental health and wellbeing specialists 6ft from the Spotlight CIC.
The programme has been driven and shaped by an Advisory Group of employers, unions (including the MU) and industry bodies to respond to issues and challenges that people working in the sector have raised.
Phase 2 of the pilot will build on the lessons learnt over the last six months
In the first phase of the pilot that ran from September 2022 to March 2023, ten production companies accessed grants of up to £15,000 to place a specially trained WellBeing Facilitator on their productions to promote mental health and provide wellbeing advice in the screen sector.
Feedback from both employers and the workforce showed that the facilitators made it much easier to resolve welfare issues and helped to improve the working culture. A number of productions also reported that having a Wellbeing Facilitator on set helped to increase their overall productivity.
Phase 2 of the pilot will build on the lessons learnt over the last six months and enable a new cohort of production companies to benefit from the support and advice on offer with the aim of increasing well-being on set and improving staff retention.
As part of phase 2 of the pilot six new Well Being Facilitators from under-represented groups including people from Global Majority Backgrounds, Disabled people and the LGBTQ+ community will be trained. There are also plans to open the pilot out to other creative sectors such as music.
Feedback from the first pilot by employers and workers identified the benefits of having a trained WBF on a production. It showed that:
- Having access to a Wellbeing Facilitator (WBF) was seen as demonstrating the employer’s positive commitment to supporting the wellbeing of its workforce.
- The workforce was more confident in raising often relatively easy to resolve welfare issues via the anonymity of the WBF.
- Voicing concerns around poor behaviour could help de-escalate issues.
- Highlighting sensitive issues in scripts helped alert cast, crew and management to potential trigger points for individuals.
- Being able to discuss in confidence personal challenges such as family issues, bereavement, poor mental health, financial problems, not getting enough work etc. & being sign-posted to appropriate support was seen as invaluable.
- Training around mental health & wellbeing, management and equality and diversity needed by employers and the workforce.
- Employers sought guidance on accessibility e.g. around disability, religion etc.
The MU recognises the need for WellBeing Facilitators and the important role they can play
Ruth Ballantyne, MU Regional Officer for Wales and South West England and Chair of CULT Cymru, said:
“Working with union members in the creative industries everyday we can appreciate the need for WellBeing Facilitators and the important role they can play. This pilot has helped to highlight the need within the sector for wellbeing support and following its success we are looking forward to extending these roles for those working in music and live events.
“Many musicians work in isolated, high stress environments where access to WellBeing Facilitators would be a very welcome addition. These roles are a vital step to ensuring that mental health and wellbeing is a priority and the creative industries are accessible to all”.
Want to get involved? Applications are now open for Freelance Wellbeing Facilitators
CULT Cymru are now recruiting six new Freelance Wellbeing Facilitators who work in, or have a good understanding of, the TV and Film industry or a related creative sector.
They are looking for six individuals who are passionate about mental health and want to engender more equal and positive working environments to train as WBFs. Cult Cymru need a diverse range of Freelancers to join the team, including individuals from Global Majority backgrounds, males, disabled people, those that identify as LGBTQ+ and Welsh speakers.
They will be running an information session about the roles on Tuesday 6 June between 7:15pm and 8:15pm, online via Zoom and the application deadline is Wednesday 14 June at 12:00pm.
To Find out more about the role, including information on training, rate of pay, job description and more, please visit CULT Cymru’s Wellbeing Facilitator Application page.