Why Talking Fixes, mental health sessions with the Will Garvey Trust Foundation

EMA Training welcomed Joanna from The Will Garvey Trust Foundation into the Derby Training Hub to talk about mental health and suicide prevention.

Our Safeguarding Lead, Julie O’Callaghan, invited Joanna to come and speak to our apprentices to raise awareness of mental health. After learning about the Will Garvey Trust Foundation through a mutual friend, Julie shares more about how she found out about the Trust and why she felt it would be impactful for Joanna to visit our students below:

The collaboration with EMA Training Ltd and the Will Garvey Trust Foundation started as a conversation with a friend I do open water swimming with, as she is on the Board of Trustees for this wonderful local charity. When I first met Joanna it was very evident that the message of creating ‘Talking Communities’ would support the foundation that EMA has and continues to build with our staff and apprentices to understand more about mental health and creating a safe space to discuss all aspects including suicide.

Joanna joined us Monday to Thursday for an hour, leading a session on “Why Talking Fixes” to our learners. It was a powerful session where Joanna shared her own story, touching on the loss of her son through suicide and how important it is to talk to the people around you.

The sessions were incredibly impactful and following feedback forms, we found that 100% of the learners who attended found the sessions engaging and useful.

Following the last session, Joanna shared her thoughts on the week with the EMA Training learners:

Joanna from The Will Garvey Trust Foundation leading a session about mental health and suicide prevention.

Joanna leading a session.

What a joy it has been to spend this week with staff and students at EMA Training, delivering the first of a series of Wellbeing Workshops! The venue in Derby is perfectly suited, and the air conditioning was so much appreciated in the heat this week. I’d pay good money for the cups of tea too (need to know what tea bags they use)! There is a tangible sense of community about EMA and safeguarding is so well embedded that I’ve come away every day believing that the apprentices’ best interests really are at the heart of everything they do.

An average of 13 apprentices attended each session with encouragingly high levels of engagement across all four sessions.
The feedback has been extremely positive and we’ll be creating further workshops based on the needs identified in the anonymous survey completed at the end Julie and the rest of the staff team are great to work with – warm, encouraging, (and reassuringly, most of them know as much about technology as I do – (thanks to Michael for saving us) and absolutely believe that mental health and well being is a priority.
I’m really excited about the future and can’t wait to get started on planning the next workshops. Thanks for having me!

It has been a joy to have Joanna in for the week and we look forward to having her and the Trust again. As a Training Provider, we want to ensure we are providing our learners with all the resources to support them with their mental health and to help them support their own family and friends. Julie shares below her reflection on the week:

Last week was amazing to work with Joanna as she lead the mental health workshops face-to-face to staff, Accountancy, Digital Marketing and IT apprentices in the Derby digital hub. Sharing a lived experience is a very powerful way to build these talking communities, not only amongst EMA as a business but with family and friends. Joanna has shown me how talking and having somebody to listen to really helps early help/intervention to preventing suicide and supporting all mental health concerns. I feel very privileged to have witnessed Joanna in action and excited about this continued collaboration moving forward.

Julie presenting Joanna with flowers to say thank you for leading sessions on mental health and suicide prevention.

Julie presented Joanna with flowers to show EMA’s                                       appreciation for her time.


If you have been affected by anything in this blog post or would like to have a chat with Julie or our Safeguarding team about any of the above, please don’t hesitate to email [email protected] or contact https://www.willgarveytrustfoundation.org.uk/.



Posted by: FlorenceComasky
Posted on: 10.08.2022
Posted in: Advice
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