Charity funded projects

Transforming break times with new staff wellbeing spaces

21 June 2024

Staff member making tea in new staff room at Brighton General Hospital

We are thrilled to see the completion of renovation works to new staff rest spaces across Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT), funded by a grant awarded to the charity by NHS Charities Together.  


Our staff spoke, we listened

When we asked for feedback, SCFT staff told us that having a place to eat and take a break was their top priority for improving workplace wellbeing. So, with a generous grant from NHS Charities Together and additional funding from SCFT capital, we made it happen! Here are the newly renovated rest areas:

  • Horizon Ward, Horsham
  • Varndean, Brighton General Hospital (BGH)
  • Bramber Building, BGH
  • Don Baines Ward, Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital
  • Crosskeys, Crawley
  • Nightingale Child Development Centre, Haywards Heath
  • Arundel Hospital
  • Uckfield Hospital

Why rest areas matter

Back in January 2021, the SCFT Human Resources and Organisational Development team reached out to staff to find out how we could improve health and wellbeing at work. 125 responses were received from a diverse group of staff, and the message was clear: better rest spaces were essential.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of having good rest areas where staff can recharge, eat, and access clean drinking water. Many of our staff didn't have regular access to these amenities, and improving this was crucial for wellbeing.

Working with the SCFT Capital Development Team, we identified spaces for redecoration and added new furniture and equipment, benefiting over 1500 staff each week—about a quarter of our workforce.


Early results look promising

Early data shows an improvement in wellbeing for staff using the new rest areas. Now, 85% of staff rate their health and wellbeing as excellent, very good, or good, compared to 66% previously. Reports of poor or fair wellbeing dropped from 34% to 15%, with 0 staff now reporting poor wellbeing.

Rosie Gratwick, our Charity Manager, shared her thoughts: “Listening to the needs of our staff is crucial in creating a supportive work environment. It's wonderful to see these spaces come to life, and the early data shows a positive impact on staff wellbeing.”

“We are immensely grateful to NHS Charities Together and everyone who donated to their appeal. Their generosity made this project possible. We look forward to hearing more feedback from staff.”

Thank you to everyone who helped make this project a success. We're excited to see these new spaces making a difference!