By Laura Monaghan, Bernard Interiors
On Friday 21st February, we put our answer machine and out of offices on and immersed ourselves into a day of health and wellbeing as part of our annual review day. As a company we are committed to putting time aside to enhance and strengthen our team culture and as much of our work is deadline driven, the mental and physical wellbeing of our staff is very important to us.
The day started with homemade granola bars, fresh fruit and herbal teas while we were given an introduction to the day by Jen, our MD and split into two teams – “On F’Leek’ and ‘Carrot-Couture’. The day involved a series of sessions from guest speakers and team challenges with opportunities for the two teams to win points throughout the day. The first session was with Martin Flett, a personal trainer with over 15 years in the fitness industry. Martin talked us through the physical and mental benefits of exercise and then put us to the test with a 45 minute circuits session where the two teams had to compete against each other to win points.
Our next guest speaker was nutrition consultant Gareth Zeal from our neighbouring vegan restaurant, Little Green. Gareth gave us a highly informative talk on the health benefits of optimum nutrition and how eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet can decrease stress and aid sleep as well as boost mood and energy levels. This very well received talk was followed by a yoga and meditation session from Amy Williams of Yogabird. Amy led us through a 45 minute yoga sequence designed to help us feel invigorated, calm and focused. The session ended with a guided meditation and talk on the benefits of relaxation and breathing techniques to reduce stress in the workplace. I think I can say on behalf of everyone that we felt very relaxed after this!
After a delicious and healthy lunch by Little Green, Jen and our team of directors presented the annual review including our key achievements for 2019 and a look ahead to 2020. When we’re all working so hard, we often forget to look back at what we’ve achieved over the year so it was nice to come together and note our accomplishments. It was also very exciting to see that 2020 is going to be an even busier year for Bernard Interiors!
During the latter part of the day, the teams were thrown into an afternoon of team challenges, giving both sides the opportunity to score further points. At this stage the teams were neck and neck so there was everything to play for! The first challenge was a health and wellbeing quiz including information from the guest speakers throughout the day to test who had been paying attention. The second was a more creative challenge, aptly named ‘Superfood Showdown’– think the Great British Sewing Bee meets The Apprentice! The teams were given a brief where they had to create a fashion item, outfit or accessory out of fabric remnants, trims and equipment provided by our contract curtain manufacturer, Jeffrey Carr Ltd. The teams had 1 hour to complete the challenge and the creation had to include a fruit or vegetable theme. Ian from Jeffrey Carr joined the judging panel as a guest judge as well as bringing two of his seamstresses, Evelyn and Victoria, to support the teams in the challenge. To add a ‘scavenger hunt’ element to the contest, each team had to include some form of natural found flora and fauna and were also given £5 to purchase something from the local area to add to their creation.
The results were very impressive considering the time constraints of the challenge. Modelled by Emmie, ‘On F’Leek’ rustled up a beetroot themed dress complete with puffball skirt, head piece and sceptre. Modelled by Sophie, ‘Carrot-Couture’ created a set of carefully made grape earrings, floral necklace and an intricate handbag featuring a vine of 3D grapes and entwined twig handle. The judges had a very difficult decision on their hands but in the end Carrot-Couture took the lead by 5 points to secure the Bernard Interiors trophy until 2021!