GB Railfreight holds its first-ever Health and Wellbeing Conference


Rail freight UK

Tim Hartley, Director for Business Development

I am really proud of our People and Culture working group for organising our first-ever Health and Wellbeing Conference in June. Throughout the month we put on a variety of health and wellbeing talks for our staff on aspects like sleep, managing stress and emotional needs, but we also had important conversations on topics that still have a taboo. I personally took away so much from each of the talks.

Here is a recap of some of the talks and I’ve included some helpful links below if you would like to learn more about our expert speakers’ work.

Emotional needs and resources

Jon Neal, CEO of Suffolk Mind, gave a talk on emotional needs and resources. He spoke about how Suffolk Mind use an ‘organising idea’.  This is the idea that we all have physical and emotional needs and a set of skills and resources that we’re born with to meet those needs.

Read more here:,is%20one%20of%20those%20needs.

Avoiding burnout

Paul McGregor, from Everymind at Work, gave a talk on how we can avoid burnout. Paul shared several strategies that can be implemented to prevent a heavy workload from becoming stressful and how we can create an individual toolbox of coping mechanisms based on circumstances and preferences.

Read more via this blog on their website:

Sleep is the new exercise

Dr Dorian Dugmore, from the League Managers Association, talked about how a good night’s sleep and taking regular breaks during the day are vital to our health and wellbeing, and gave us tips on how to reduce the hours of slumber.

Here is a link to one of his blogs:

Different not less

Daniel Brooke, a Neurodiversity Specialist, spoke about how we can support a colleague who has neural differences and make reasonable adjustments in work environments for them.

Read more on the work Neurodiversity Specialists do here:

Why menopause matters:

Women make up 51% of the population, so menopause is something we all need to talk about. We invited Dr Kate Blackford, from Origami, to give a talk on common and lesser-known signs and symptoms of menopause, as well as the implications it has on people’s physical and mental health.

ere is a link to a podcast on which Dr Kate Blackford speaks more about this:

It’s ok to talk:

Sean Gill from Andy’s Man Club, a men’s suicide prevention charity, shared his own powerful story about his mental health battle and the importance of talking.

If you would like to access their services or find out more about the amazing work they do, please visit their website:

Staff-led sessions:

It was also great to see our staff get stuck in, organising their own sessions around the issues which matter to them personally.  There was a talk on dieting and nutrition, organized walks around a nature reserve in Doncaster and live-streamed a Joe Wicks style workout session in Peterborough.

We look forward to holding another Health and Wellbeing month very soon!