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Finding Balance: Relaxation and Mindfulness at work

Date Created: 10th Jul 2024

Apprentices Rhe Mara and Claire sitting outside

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Written by Artswork apprentices Claire, Rhe and Mara

As new apprentices, entering a work environment for the first time can be both exciting and daunting. Recently we had the privilege of attending an away day focused on team building and relaxation, which provided the perfect setting to meet everyone and start building connections. Our away day took place at The Lakeside Centre in Southampton, a beautiful location that provided the perfect backdrop for a day of activities and mindfulness. The weather was on our side, giving us plenty of sunshine to enjoy.

The day began with ‘chat dot circles,’ a unique activity designed to foster open communication and connection among colleagues across the wider team. We gathered in a circle, sharing our thoughts and feelings with one another in a safe, supportive space. As newcomers, this was a fantastic way to get to know our colleagues right from the start. Listening to everyone’s stories, experiences and opinions helped us feel more integrated into the team.

Next, we tapped into our creative sides by painting stones that allowed us to express ourselves artistically. It allowed us to highlight and share what we all do, our strengths individually and as a team, and what we are proud of. The array of colours and designs that emerged was a testament to the diverse talents and imaginations. This activity was not only fun but also served as a reminder of the importance of creativity in our daily lives. For us, it was also a great icebreaker and conversation starter with our new teammates.

rock painted with flowers

Mara’s stone design: “I was unsure of what to design for my stone, but then I thought about how Artswork brings a variety of different people together. I decided to represent this with flowers, as often you will see them separate with their own kind, but when they are brought together in a bouquet you get to see the vibrancy and variety of life.”

decorated rock

Rhe’s stone design: “When decorating my stone, I wanted to incorporate a range of different colours whilst also including the Artswork brand colours. I decided to decorate my stone with words that I felt represented me, something I was proud of and what I liked about the company; inclusivity was something I felt important to include as it is one of Artswork’s core values, and something that I want to ensure I am practicing in my apprenticeship.”

painted rock

Claire’s stone design:For my stone, I decided to include drawings of different things that I felt related to my character, my job role and Artswork. I included a lot of things that represented growth and team work. We not only give young people the help to grow, but also I believe that working at Artswork will help allow me to grow during my apprenticeship. I have only been working here for a short time and I already feel part of the team/family”

After stone painting we worked on our team building with a statues task. We were encouraged to explore the values of the company by portraying them in both a positive and negative light. First we would display the negative aspects, with examples of what bad versions of the values looked like, then we moved on to the positive representations. This helped us to enhance our ability to work as a team, while also reminding us of Artswork’s values.

After a delicious lunch, we participated in a mindful sector where we could do either group yoga, wander & chat or have reflective time on our own. We chose to go for a walk with colleagues which helped to clear our minds and enjoy the natural surroundings. The walk was peaceful and grounding, except for one amusing restriction: certain paths were blocked because of the geese! This mindful walk gave us the chance to chat with a few colleagues in a relaxed setting, further helping us feel at ease in the unfamiliar environment.


In another corner of the event, we engaged in an activity that challenged our problem-solving skills and teamwork: making machines that allowed us to explore gaining quality feedback and all the insights in can provide. Using a variety of materials, we collaborated to build these machines which was both intellectually stimulating and entertaining, providing a blend of fun and learning. It was an excellent opportunity to see how different team members approach challenges and work together towards a common goal.

The day ended with circle time, providing an opportunity to reflect on the day, share our highlights, and discuss things we are excited about moving forward. This final session allowed us to process our experiences collectively. Many shared their favourite moments, from creative breakthroughs during stone painting to the tranquillity found in mindful activities. We appreciated the chance to express our gratitude for such a welcoming introduction to the company. It was clear that everyone left the event feeling more connected.

“Overall, this day was a much-needed respite from the usual hustle and bustle of work and a perfect new introduction to my new team members. In our fast-paced work environment, finding moments of tranquillity can be challenging but this day provided an opportunity to relax, connect and rejuvenate. Activities like these not only enhance our wellbeing but also foster a more positive and productive work environment. The day improved communication, enhanced collaboration, and boosted morale. I am grateful for the opportunity to step away from screens and bond as a team – I look forward to my journey at Artswork.” Claire, Creative Producer Apprentice for Slough

“Being able to meet everyone face to face at the Away Day was a lovely experience, it made me feel very welcome in the team, and it was great to be able to share lunch and chat about everyone’s interests and roles at Artswork. Taking some time for mindfulness also gave us the opportunity to wind down and relax, see more of the venue, and ready ourselves for the next activities. I believe it was beneficial for me being able to communicate with everyone directly and build upon confidence skills, whilst enjoying the beautiful surroundings (especially the cows) of The Lakeside Centre, and I am excited for what is to come next.” – Rhe, Creative Producer Apprentice for Dover

“The thought of meeting everyone face to face was daunting, but on the day everyone’s positive attitude and friendliness helped for me to fit in easier. This allowed me to feel comfortable when taking part in the days activities and I really enjoyed the variety of creative tasks. My favourite task was the stone painting as we were able to express our feelings towards the company creatively. It was interesting to see how most of us valued the people, proving how important Artswork is for the community and I am excited to see the sort of difference we can make.” – Mara, Creative Producer Apprentice for The Isle of Wight

Apprentices Rhe Mara and Claire sitting outside

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