Bounce Buddies

Social Passion Project – Update January 2020

At the start of 2019 we made a commitment as a business, to volunteer our team and resources to improve the mental health of our community. We call it our Social Passion Project.  This is a new style of corporate social responsibility; rather than being a one off project we have made it integral to our purpose as a business.

In April 2019 we held a Mental Health Hackathon at the Bristol & Bath Science Park. We posed the question, “How can we solve the mental health problem in Bristol?” Not solve in that no-one ever has a problem, but solve so that people don’t feel isolated and can access resources.

Over 60 people attended, including those who work in the sector, charities, people with lived experience and their families. This was a community brain storming exercise which resulted in a consensus on the mental health needs of people in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Mental Health Hackathon

The top 4 needs were as follows

  1. There are widespread concerns about access to mental health services in Bristol & South Gloucestershire, with services being piecemeal and taking too long to access to be effective.
  2. Lack of awareness of mental health has created a barrier to asking for help and a gap in the population’s knowledge around self care. Education was seen as key to making sustainable change.
  3. Collaboration and community featured strongly as a way to pool resources and allocate them effectively.
  4. It was widely considered that we all have a part to play in making a difference.

A copy of our report and a list of mental health support organisations can be downloaded from our website. 

Armed with this feedback, we started to plan our response. We are educators and facilitators so our focus is on education and getting the conversation started.

Three projects emerged

1 Meet ups

Over the Summer of  2019 we held monthly meet ups in cafes around Bristol and South Gloucestershire to support the community. They were coffee sessions aimed at reducing loneliness and increasing connectivity. So many people shared their stories we became inspired to create a book – see below.

2 Schools and Universities


This was a tough one to crack, with several schools and colleges ignoring our offers of help. But in June 2019 Alex and Brian set up a wellbeing pop-up at Bristol University to make help accessible to students and we are currently speaking to a college in Wales to repeat this offer.

3 Construction Toolbox Talks

We were dismayed to hear that in the UK, two construction workers take their own lives every working day. We adopted the tool box talk supplied by Building Mental Health and now deliver it free of charge to construction companies. This talk is also freely available on their website. With our mental health knowledge and facilitation expertise we are happy to deliver this content in a safe and supported way and as a third party we are a confidante for attendees.

Some of our talks have resulted in supporting individual staff afterwards through signposting. We have also provided further support through our mentoring programme.

We are beginning to recognise that we have a nationwide mental health and wellbeing crisis across the UK.  This is acute in men and, in particular we have identified that the risk is highest across the construction sector. We live in an age of curated perfection, one of instantaneous gratification and it can be very tough in our sector.

The only way we can confront this, and turn it round is by all working together, making it ok to have a conversation, removing fear, stigma, discrimination and recognising that it takes courage to come out and say how you feel.

The work that Discover Your Bounce is doing does all of that and will play a part of the whole sector confronting our crisis, helping us look after each other and making a huge difference in people’s lives.”

Martin Coyd the Operations Director at Mace

Plans for 2020

1 Bounce Back Journey  – a book to inspire!

24 authors have contributed to this book including members of the Bounce team. These stories are about overcoming physical illness, brain injury, bankruptcy and so much more.  These are ordinary people who have overcome extraordinary adversity and wished to share their experience with others to give hope and inspiration.

This book will be launched in February 2020.

2. Manager Support Programme for Mental Health

In 2020 we are launching our manager support programme for construction staff. This is a half day paid for workshop to provide awareness of mental health. It also contains practical tools for taking the first steps with your staff member. The aim is to increase confidence amongst management to make that first move and support their teams.

3. Pop-ups and Hackathons for colleges and universities

Do you know what your students really need? We are offering 3 free Hackathons in 2020 where we facilitate a conversation to get to the heart of discovering their mental health concerns and the support that they want.

Our pop-up is a wellbeing area with a 20 minute stress busting talk, rolling wellbeing tips and hand outs. We set up a mindful colouring in and whilst people colour in they tend to talk, to us and to each other. It’s a calming community activity. We also have a goal setting exercise as well as a health quiz, sleep tips and general advice. We are offering one of these per quarter free of charge.

4. Toolbox Talks

Toolbox Talks have been already been booked in 2020 but we have capacity to deliver some more!

Do you know a construction company who may be interested?

“Spread this message far and wide! Really useful and helped the team understand it’s okay not to be okay” – Lee Bignell Managing Director, Mobius Works Ltd  

Would you like to get involved?

Are you willing to give your time to provide a toolbox talk or support a pop up area at a school or college? We train and support our volunteers and you will have a Bounce team member with you.

Are you willing to sponsor an event? We are happy to run an event at your designated school and are always open to collaborations.

Later in 2020 we hope to run another public awareness event. We are always on the lookout for potential sponsors to cover the cost of tea and coffee, venues etc.

Get in touch:

Mental Health is a huge subject and the statistics show that there is much to do. We hope that our work will make a difference to a city we care about and we’d love to offer support and hear about your experiences.


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About The Author

Sharon Critchlow

Sharon Critchlow is a Wellbeing Advocate, speaker and facilitator at Discover Your Bounce for Business. Passionate about people being the best they can be she is a Time To Change Champion for mental health and holds a Masters level qualification in strategic coaching for performance. Sharon is a qualified accountant and has 20 years experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector.