Meet our Wellbeing Champion, Natalie Tooze

For Mental Health Awareness Week, we thought it was a great opportunity to introduce you to one of our Wellbeing Champions, Natalie Tooze. With two years of experience in wellbeing, Natalie and her wellbeing colleagues have taken on some of the Cardiff and Vale University Health Boards Wellbeing teams’ advice and implemented strategies to support colleagues with their mental health. With initiatives such as wellbeing walks, we are so happy to be supporting this year’s Mental Health Awareness campaign for Movement: Moving More for Our Mental Health. Natalie is passionate about wellbeing initiatives, activities, and resources that can aid wellbeing at work.


An interview with Natalie

What is your proudest achievement?
“After years of health challenges that required surgery, I finished my university degree. I was overjoyed with my achievement, yet at times I doubted I’d ever get there. Now I’m working in Weqas, where I can apply my scientific and mathematical knowledge to help a healthcare system that helped me when I needed it the most. I am delighted to work for the NHS, and my degree helped me get there. I’m an advocate for both mental and physical health.”.

What made you want to be a Wellbeing Champion?
“I’ve always been an advocate for mental health. We all went through so much in the COVID pandemic, and there is still mental fatigue. The role of the Wellbeing Champion was already established in Weqas, and I wanted to support that team in the work they were achieving. I wanted to promote wellbeing initiatives that were accessible to colleagues, promote activities to raise awareness, and share resources that aid in wellbeing.”.


What is the best advice you’ve been given?

“A problem shared is a problem halved. It may not completely remove the issue, but talking about your feelings and expressing them to someone like a wellbeing officer can provide you with a release. If you are stressed at work, this can be really important. This is why I feel like CAV a coffee is such a good Cardiff and Vale University Health Board initiative that everyone has access to and should use.”


What is your advice for Mental Health Awareness Week’s campaign for Movement: Moving More for Our Mental Health?
“I’ve wanted an allotment for years. This year, I was delighted to finally get off the waiting list and start working on my own plot of paradise. Over the last month, I’ve tidied the allotment, met some great people, and I’m working towards growing my own vegetables with a little help from my new allotment friends. It’s surprising how many squats you can do while gardening.”.


What advice would you give someone who wants to be a Wellbeing Champion?

“Go for it! It’s rewarding, and it will also give you a few good tips about your own mental health to take on board. Every day, you learn more about yourself and others and develop self-care routines that help you.”


For more information on Mental Health Awareness Week on 13 to 19 May 2024:
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/public-engagement/mental-health-awareness-week