Wellbeing champion earns award nomination

Passionate about her colleague’s wellbeing and described as an asset to the Balmoral Surgery in Deal, Nikki Recas combines working as a receptionist and a Nurse Clerk with her role as the practice’s wellbeing lead.  Francesca Day from the awards team contacted Practice Manager Rebecca Seaman to find out why she has nominated Nikki for a Kent Mental Wellbeing Award.

The staff at the Balmoral Surgery in Deal are fortunate to have Nikki Recas in their corner as the practice’s first wellbeing lead.  Nikki already worked in the practice as a receptionist and a Nurse Clerk but wanted to do more to support the wellbeing of her colleagues so she approached the Practice Manager to ask about taking on this extra role and to complete Mental Health First Aider training.

Before Nikki stepped forward to take on this role the surgery’s management oversaw staff wellbeing but they agreed that it was better for staff to be able to discuss issues with a colleague confidentially as they may not always want to approach their manager as they may have concerns about their job.  Since taking on the wellbeing lead role Nikki has worked hard to gain the confidence of her colleagues who know that she will offer them empathy, a listening ear, maintain confidentiality and will try her best to source appropriate resources to help them.

In nominating Nikki for a Kent Mental Wellbeing Award 2024 Practice Manager Rebecca Seaman offered this glowing description of her colleague.

“Nikki is an asset to the practice and has improved practice morale.  She has given her all to the role, and genuinely wants to help her colleagues”.

One of Nikki’s initiatives has been to start a weekly walk for members of staff at lunchtime which is a great way to get people away from their desks.  There has been a positive response to this idea and nurses, members of the management team and admin staff have participated.  When the weather intervenes and the walks can’t go ahead Nikki makes alternative wellbeing plans which has included crafting activities.  She has also created a wellbeing noticeboard and has arranged yoga sessions for the staff.

In recent years we have all become aware of the pressures on primary care services and the hardworking staff who deliver them.  To know that the staff at the Balmoral Surgery are being supported to take care of their wellbeing while looking after their patients is a great thing.

The Kent Mental Wellbeing awards is an annual event designed to showcase the people, organisations and initiatives that help us cope with life. The event’s three themes are: kindness and compassion; wellbeing; mental health.

Whether it is in school, business, community or family, so many of us have been lucky to have people and organisations with ideas, tips and tactics to help us cope. It is time to celebrate those mental health and well-being champions in our community and share this best practice.

The awards will be staged in October by the mental health charity Mind in Bexley and East Kent in collaboration with a range of wellbeing and mental health organisations.

Nominations can be linked to a simple act of kindness that lifted the spirits, a business that has improved staff wellbeing, through to a targeted initiative delivered by a charity or statutory organisation to support a mental health issue.

The event is sponsored by Kent County Council, Kent Community Foundation, ADM Computing, GrainLNG – National Grid, Medway Council, Optyma Security, Ble Global, Wave Community Bank, Cactus Graphics and CommunityAid.

Submit nominations at www.kentmentalwellbeingawards.org.uk  For awards news follow @KentMWAwards on Facebook and X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.