Mindfulness Wales Project

The Mindfulness Wales Project is an innovative initiative set up by Caerphilly social enterprise Samye Foundation Wales to benefit businesses operating in the county borough. Mindfulness workshops have been clinically proven to reduce levels of employee stress and absenteeism.

The Samye Foundation was established in 2006 as a not-for-profit company to promote mental and physical wellbeing by providing mindfulness workshops to the general public, businesses and disadvantaged communities in Wales and England.

“Our compassion-based mindfulness training deals with tackling the root causes of stress and anxiety by implementing a set of simple guided techniques that combat negative thought patterns,” said Samye Foundation Wales Chief Executive Lorraine Harris.

“Mindfulness has also been proven to improve sleep patterns and boost the immune system. Mental health in the workplace is still regarded as a taboo subject, with only a quarter of employers encouraging staff to talk openly about mental health problems. Ultimately, we’re hoping that our workshops will reduce levels of employee stress, resulting in greater productivity for businesses in Caerphilly.”

Mindfulness has been approved by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence and is currently being used in the NHS, as well as by progressive employers such as Toyota and Google.

A registered charity, the Samye Foundation works in partnership with community organisations including DrugAid and Action for Children’s Family Intervention Team to support people with addictions and young families respectively. It has also delivered mindfulness workshops to corporate clients such as Caerphilly County Borough Council, Taff Housing and Tai Esgyn Housing.

The Caerphilly project was awarded SEWCED funding of £85,578 for equipment and to support the salaries of three part-time members of staff to deliver courses and workshops to businesses operating across the county borough.

It is also planning to develop mindfulness MP3s that can be downloaded onto smartphones or computers as part of a strategy to increase commercial sources of revenue.