Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 was all about nature and the positive effect it has on our mental wellbeing. In a previous blog, we spoke about a great article published, talking about their top tips on connecting with nature to improve your mental health.

Growing food or flowers, exercising outdoors or being around animals can have lots of physical and psychological benefits and in this post, we wanted to share some of our favourite ideas with you.

Growing space

Not everyone has access to a garden, so instead, you could plant salad leaves or herbs in a window box or plant pot and watch them grow.

Bring nature to your home

Buy yourself some potted plants or flowers, or arrange a comfortable space to sit by a window where you can look out over a view of trees or the sky.

Connect with animals

The positive effect animals have on our mental health are well-known, so maybe you could benefit from visiting a local farm, hanging a bird feeder outside your window or even borrowing your friend’s dog to take for a walk.

Help the environment

There are countless things you can do to help protect the environment, for example going on a litter picking walk – you will be surprised how much rubbish you will find! Or, if you have some outdoor space of your own, you could plant seeds, such as bushes and flowers to help bees and other wildlife. 

It’s the simple things

If the above don’t really work for you, you could simply enjoy your morning cup of coffee or tea outside or sit in the local park during your lunch break. 

There are many more things you can do to help you (re)connect with nature. Mental health charities like, as well as the website offer great resources to help you.

At Advance TRS, we prioritise our staff’s wellbeing. We offer a Wellbeing Hub and have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders, who will act as the first point of contact for anyone feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

We are currently recruiting, so if you want to work for a company that places mental wellbeing and dealing with the causes of stress as a priority, send us your CV or take a look at our latest vacancies.

Today, Monday 10th May, marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, and this year, the theme is nature. 

Nature is vital to our psychological and emotional health. In fact, it is almost impossible to achieve mental wellbeing without a connection to the natural world. You might even have noticed before how much better you feel after a walk or simply spending some time outside. This is because for a big chunk of human history, we lived as part of nature and this only drastically changed with the last five generations, when many of us lived and worked much more separated from it. 

The good news is, you don’t have to go for a 10k run or 2-hour long walk everyday to reap the benefits of being outdoors. Even short amounts of time reduce feelings of social isolation and protect our mental health efficiently while also preventing stress.

There are many ways you can reconnect with nature and even bring it to you! have published a great article and an accompanying document listing some of their top tips on the topic. You can find the blog here.

At Advance TRS, we prioritise our staff’s wellbeing. We offer a Wellbeing Hub and have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders, who will act as the first point of contact for anyone feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

We are currently recruiting, so if you want to work for a company that places mental wellbeing and dealing with the causes of stress as a priority, send us your CV or take a look at our latest vacancies.

Christmas is meant to be a time of joy and peace. We get to spend some time with friends and family, eat good food and enjoy ourselves. 

However, it can also bring stress and financial pressures. On top of that, this year has been a very different one and we might not be able to spend Christmas the way we want to due to the pandemic. 

It is important to look after yourself and your mental wellbeing during this time and we have collated some tips to help you with this.

Stay connected

If you are unable to spend much or any time with loved ones for Christmas, make sure to stay connected with them, for example via Zoom or Facetime. That way you still get some interaction with them. Why not enjoy a cup of tea or coffee together or maybe even open presents while you speak to each other. 

Don’t bottle it up

If you feel that you can’t get in the festive spirit and that the past few months have had a bigger effect on you than you might have realised, confide in a friend or family member. Speaking about your fears and what is making you feel anxious can help you clear your mind and even lift those feelings. Make sure you don’t bottle it up.

Have some me time

If you are seeing family, allow yourself to still have some time for just you. Take a relaxing bath or read a book. The past year has been intense and this time is all about letting go of those pressures.

Do it yourself

Maybe you discovered some new skills during lockdown and it might be a great idea to put them to good use. If you got into baking or cooking, why not gift some homemade baked goods or jams. Discovered your love for knitting? You could make some lovely, unique hats which will come in really handy during the cold months. This can save you money and is a good way to give more personal gifts.

We hope that these tips help you feel calmer this Christmas.

If you think a new career is on the cards for you then keep an eye out for new opportunities on our website. Visit our careers page or for a discrete conversation, contact Paul Metcalfe, Advance TRS CEO on 07793 554 413 or email

At tough times like these, it’s important to look after your mental wellbeing, especially during social distancing and isolation. Understandably, you may find that social distancing can be boring or frustrating. You may find your mood and feelings are affected and you may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping and you might miss being outside with other people.

It can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make you feel worse. There are simple things you can do that may help to look after your mental wellbeing during social distancing. In addition, staying mentally and physically active during this time such as:

  • Look for exercises you can do at home on the NHS website
  • Spend time doing things you enjoy – this might include reading, cooking, other indoor hobbies or listening to the radio or watching TV programmes
  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs
  • Keep your windows open to let in fresh air, get some natural sunlight if you can, or get outside into the garden
  • You can also go for a walk or exercise outdoors if you stay more than 2 metres from others

Understandably a key factor to support positive mental health is spending time with friends and family. 

What steps can you take to stay connected with family and friends during this time?

Draw on the support you might have through your friends, family and other networks during this time. Try to stay in touch with those around you over the phone, by post, or online. Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. This is also important in looking after your mental wellbeing and you may find it helpful to talk to them about how you are feeling.

Remember it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust and in doing so you may end up providing support to them too. Or you can use an NHS recommended helpline.

Read more:

Mental Health issues are common, especially depression, anxiety and those associated with misuse of alcohol and other drugs. Research indicates that 1 in 4 people experience some form of mental health issue in a year.

There are many myths and misunderstandings about mental health issues stemming from a lack of knowledge. This may result in people avoiding or not responding to someone with mental ill-health or not seeking professional help themselves. With greater community awareness, people will be able to better understand their own mental health and feel more comfortable about seeking out professional assistance.

Early intervention initiatives target those with mental health issues or developing mental health issues to prevent difficulties from becoming more serious and reducing the risk of knock-on effects.

Take a look at our Mental Health Matters Magazine for more information.

What you can do to help your colleagues:

Look out for changes in their mood and behaviour

Are they late or absent from work more? Are they isolating themselves? Do they get agitated easily and often feel overwhelmed? These could all be signs that someone is struggling with their mental health.


If you are concerned about a colleague, check if they’re ok. Ask them if they want to go for a walk or a cup of tea. Create a safe environment so they can open up to you if they need to.

Invite them for lunch 

Especially in contracting, where someone might move roles and businesses regularly, it can help them to feel more included and maintain social contact at work.

Create an environment where mental health is spoken about openly

Let colleagues know that it is ok to ask for help and support and encourage it. An Intranet page with useful links and information on confidential support services that are available can also be useful. 

Do some physical or mindfulness exercises… 

…as a team once or twice a week during lunch. This might become a regular activity that helps your colleagues’ mental wellbeing and acts as a team bonding exercise at the same time.

If you or someone you know needs urgent help or support, there are a variety of services available. Your organisation may also provide you with confidential access to counselling and advice line services.

Remember, you are not alone! 

We take Mental Health seriously

At Advance TRS, we prioritise the mental wellbeing of our staff. To provide a first point of contact when needed, we have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders. We also offer a Wellbeing Hub, where confidential support via an EAP helpline can be accessed at any time. These are only some of the steps we have taken and we continue to improve our mental health awareness.

We are currently recruiting, so if you want to work for a company that places Mental Health and Wellbeing as a priority send us your CV or take a look at our latest vacancies.

Thursday 10th October marks World Mental Health Day and in true Advance TRS fashion, our bravest team members are taking on another challenge. In a bid to raise awareness for mental health and money for a great charity, the team will be focusing their minds over matter and walking on more than 500°C hot coals. 

Since establishing, charity fundraising and awareness-raising have been a key priority for Founder Andy Ridout and the wider Advance TRS team. This latest effort will see our firewalkers take part in an hour-long training seminar by two-time Guinness World Record holder Scott Bell before stepping onto the embers. We wish them the best of luck and will have the ambulance on speed dial.

Please click here to donate and help our team reach their goal.

The charity

The event is hosted by Oakleaf, a Surrey-based mental health charity which also works as a social enterprise to provide vocational training for those suffering from mental health issues.

Oakleaf Enterprise was registered as a charity in 1997 and has since then worked hard to benefit people in need. Their main focus is delivering vocational training and work experience in upholstery, horticulture and IT, enabling clients to gain new skills, as the first step on their return to the workplace.

About mental health

Mental health problems can present in a wide variety of ways and out of Guildford, Waverley and Woking’s 214,900 population of 18 to 64-year-olds, it is estimated that 19,242 people suffer mixed depression and anxiety. 

Overall, one in four people suffers from anxiety and stress which can have a considerable impact on their work life. Recognising problems early and implementing initiatives to support staff and colleagues will be of real benefit to them. 

At Advance TRS, we understand that reducing work-related stress can be hugely beneficial to all, and take our obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees seriously. Our comprehensive wellness programme and mental health awareness training have recently been recognised as Advance TRS were shortlisted as finalists in the Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing category in the Solent Business Awards 2019. 

Follow our fundraising activities on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for the latest news and take a look at our Advance Advice on Mental Health in the workplace for further information.

Technical recruitment agency Advance TRS are delighted to be shortlisted as Finalists in the Solent Business Awards 2019 for the Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing Award. 

As a recruitment business operating within the built environment our employees, contractors and client contracts are working in, statistically, some of the most challenging and stress-inducing environments.

Group Founder and Managing Director, Andy Ridout explains;

“We take our duty of care seriously, investing heavily in building awareness of Mental Health to best support staff and contractors to spot signs of difficulty in themselves and others and ensuring they have the support they need to get help. I’m delighted to see these efforts recognised in the Solent Business Awards shortlist.”

The rapidly growing recruitment company opened offices on the South Coast in 2018, headed up by Water & Infrastructure Director Rob Kelly, formerly of Matchtech. The South Coast office, with views over the sea, is Advance TRS’s latest addition as part of the company’s overall acquisition and expansion strategy and has already grown rapidly, employing more people from the local area. 

Our Marketing & Development Manager, Ella Gardiner champions the business’s Employee Engagement and Wellbeing programme and acts as a go-to person for anyone in the business seeking advice or guidance on how to access further support, or who simply needs to speak to a listening ear. As our Mental Health First Aider, Ella is there to listen to employees, offer support and signpost to methods of self-help or professional support services.

“As we start out in our journey of promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing as a business, this acknowledgement of the work, time and money we have invested so far in our team is really exciting” explains Ella. 

To find out more about Advance TRS’s Mental Health & Wellbeing programme follow us on social media or visit the Advance Advice blog.

If you are looking for a new move in your career look no further, Advance TRS are hiring! We are always looking for talented and motivated individuals, as part of our business’s strategic talent acquisition programme. Whether you are an entrepreneurial individual, established recruitment team or small businesses with shared values, we would love to hear from you.

If you are interested in joining Advance TRS’s recruitment teams or business support staff in our Port Solent or Guildford offices, contact Paul Metcalfe for a discrete conversation on 07793 55 413 or apply online at

Click here to view our CV tips and Click here to download our FREE CV template.