Hywel Dda Health Charities is funding six major projects to support the 12,000-plus NHS staff working across the Hywel Dda University Health Board area.

This has been possible thanks to a £242,000 grant from the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal which raised more than £130 million to help with the impact of the pandemic on NHS staff thanks.

The projects are providing a range of opportunities and support including ecotherapy retreats, Wellbeing Champions, bereavement support and training, staff rest areas, a lifelong learning fund, and arts in health and wellbeing activities.

More than 2,700 Hywel Dda University Health Board staff across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire have already benefited from the projects.

A spokesperson from the health board said: “The retreats have been specially designed for Hywel Dda staff and are aimed at those who are experiencing high levels of stress or who are at risk of burnout.

“They give an opportunity to slow down and reflect and experience restoration in nature and staff taking part have already talked of healing and nature becoming an ally.”


Local initiatives that have already been developed by the champions include lunchtime Tai Chi classes, ward-based wellbeing libraries, and programmes supporting hydration, exercise and relaxation.

Lisa Gostling, the health board’s director of workforce and organisation development, said: “Some of our staff worked in extremely challenging circumstances and we have been able to invest in programmes that will all help to support the wellbeing of our staff at work.

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to provide these much-needed facilities and programmes for the staff at Hywel Dda. In supporting the wellbeing of our staff, we can continue to support our patients and public to the best of our ability.”

Mandy Rayani, director of nursing, quality and patient experience, said: “We are so proud of our staff and one of our priorities now is to support their rest, recovery and the restoration of their wellbeing. 

“These six new projects to support staff wellbeing and recovery in the longer term have been well received by our teams and we are very grateful for the support of NHS Charities Together and the public through their donations.”