A number of staff from Butlins in Skegness have undertaken mental health training through Boston College which has been funded by the Coastal Communities Fund.

The Supervising First Aid for Mental Health course gives participants the knowledge, understanding and skills to operate as an effective mental health first aider in the workplace.

Two courses were held recently – one face to face and one virtual – and Michelle Chase, Learning and Development Manager at Butlins Skegness, says her team was really enthused by the training.

“The face-to-face course was absolutely amazing! Our team loved it so much that we’re booking another one in soon,” said Michelle.

“The facilitator was really engaging and made everything she talked about come to life. Two of the team came out absolutely buzzing about what they had learned, to the extent that they were keen to go off and spread the love! They were super excited about being mental health first aid ambassadors.

“Attending the course has certainly benefited the health and welfare of other team members. It’s fantastic that we can promote mental health awareness throughout the resort while signposting people to other agencies should the need arise. It’s an amazing opportunity for
our business.”

Michelle says Butlins is like a village with a community feel and so it’s important for people working there to look out for one another.

“There are 900 people working here in the winter and 1,300 at the summer peak, so being able to have guys who can recognise or deal with mental health problems or be able to sit

down and speak to the team and signpost them to the right place is an absolute bonus,” she said.

“It’s one of the things we hang our hat on when recruiting – we have mental health first aiders because today it’s such a big issue. Coming out of lockdown a lot of people have found it difficult to return to the work environment and they’ve sought assurances, so having our team there to help them is really important.

“Now all our venues have all got a resident first aider who staff can go to and get some real life guidance. Our team have absolutely loved doing the course. We’ve trained 27 people so far and once we’ve done the next courses we will have trained over 40.”

Not only is Butlins committed to providing mental health training for its staff, it’s also helping other businesses on the coast to access the course.

“We’ve said that we’ll open up our facilities for any other businesses that haven’t got a space to allow them to do courses like this,” said Michelle. “It suited our business and I know there are other businesses along the coast that don’t have the space to run these courses for their teams, so we’ve said we’ll let them come and use our training room for free.

“The Lincolnshire coast is a very rural area, transport links can be a challenge, and it’s difficult for people from Skegness and Mablethorpe to get down as far as Boston to do a course there.

“Nowadays mental health provision is key and having someone on site who can take the time to speak to the team and point them in the right direction and make sure their welfare is looked after is really important. We’re super keen to provide facilities for other businesses to do the same.”

If you’d like to take up Michelle’s offer of free space at Butlins for workplace training send her an email: michelle.chase@bourne-leisure.co.uk.