Transform your employee wellbeing and workplace culture at The Watercooler

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Day 1 | Workshop Programme

FREE to attend workshop sessions for workplace and wellbeing, HR, mental health, and employee culture professionals to attend for working insight and tangible takeaways to apply to your strategy. 

If you would like to print the programmes, please hit the buttons here to open the PDF.

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10.15 - 11.00

Uncover the 5 must-have features of an exceptional financial wellbeing programme!

Reaching the ‘third wave’ of financial wellbeing is the only way forward for people-led companies. 

Financial wellbeing that’s based on 1-to-1 guidance (instead of just benefits or education) is the only model that’s bespoke and flexible enough to help everyone, no matter their situation or money goals. But it’s tough to get there! HR leads have been working hard to get buy-in, building the right support, and getting employees engaged. Even so, 91% told us they want to do better. 

Now more than ever employers need a holistic approach to financial wellbeing that: 

      • builds knowledge
      • creates accountability
      • is fully personalised
      • accessible to all
      • always inspirational!

Join this session with Octopus MoneyCoach and get to grips with what’s needed to build an exceptional, holistic financial wellbeing that’s genuinely impactful for ALL your employees.

Neasa McNulty


Neasa McNulty
Employer Partnerships, Octopus MoneyCoach
Octopus MoneyCoach

11.30 - 12.15

How the Cost of Living Crisis is Shaking and Shaping HR Actions

With 92% of HR professionals feeling that their level of concern about employees’ financial wellbeing has increased over the past year. The cost of living crisis has become increasingly a pressing issue for

businesses. YuLife recently commissioned two surveys: one canvassing UK adults in partnership with YouGov, and another canvassing HR professionals, in partnership with HR Ninjas – and the results are eye-opening.  

Join YuLife at the Watercooler to hear first hand: 

      • HR leaders versus employee views on the cost of living crisis revealed.
      • How financial stress is increasing for workforces and impacting mental health
      • How HR leaders can support their employees’ financial wellbeing
Jonathan Roomer


Jonathan Roomer
Co-founder and Head of Customer Success

Yulife 2

13.30 - 14.15

Building a proactive mental health service

Mental health services in the UK are fundamentally flawed. The NHS can’t help people quickly enough at their time of need, while EAPs offer unnecessarily expensive care as short-term crisis solutions. With the digital advantages we have in 2023 and what we know about mental health and mindfulness today, we can do much better. If we remove the limitations of traditional structures, what should we do differently? 

In this workshop, we’ll explore:

  • How poor mental health impacts your employee’s wellbeing and your organisation’s bottom line
  • Why a focus on approachability can help tackle the stigma of seeking mental health support
  • The growing preference for digital tools and how this enables your people to receive immediate and personalised care
  • Why a continuous solution, focused on prevention, will help keep your people healthy for longer
  • How building a proactive mental health service can help you improve wellbeing and boost ROI

 This interactive workshop explains how these considerations have shaped Headspace Health’s new mental health model, as the company continues to evolve from mindfulness and meditation into mental health. There will be opportunities for discussion and to learn from your industry peers.

Jason Richmond


Jason Richmond
VP Clinical Solutions, Headspace Health

Headspace 2


14.45 - 15.30

Panel discussion on Wellbeing at Work: Understanding the pillars of wellbeing - financial, emotional, physical and community

Discover key elements and insights - you'll have the chance to put your questions to our panel of experts in our live Q&A session

  • How integrating wellbeing strategies and creating a work culture, where people are supported through any challenge they face can equip your people to engage and thrive
  • Creating a preventative and proactive wellbeing strategy that’s easy to implement in any organisation
  • Using the pillars to address current business challenges – cost of living, recruitment and retention, engagement
    • Financial - cost of living support
    • Emotional – employee assistance programmes
    • Physical – proactive wellbeing
    • Community – embedding a culture of recognition and reward
    • Gaining meaningful data insights to inform your company wellbeing strategy


Karl Bennett
Wellbeing Director Vivup & Chair of the Employee Assistance Programme Association



Hilary Todd 2


Hilary Todd
Associate Director Occupational Health and Wellbeing, NHS



Simon Moyle
CEO Vivup and Investors In People UK Leader of the Year




Cadence Woodland
Head of Communications, Wilson James Limited


10.15 - 11.00

Changing trends in employee wellbeing – a discussion: Reaching the hard to reach and breaking down barriers to ensure employees can access the support they need

As the working world has changed in the post pandemic landscape, so to have employees ‘wants and needs’ for wellbeing support. 

During this interactive and thought provoking session our experts will be drawing on original data and discussing the new healthcare challenges when remote working is now the “new normal”.

They will explore the two fold problem of difficulty accessing services that were previously provided 'in-person and on-site', and how to communicate with employees who are increasingly hard to reach. 

      • A focus on wider health considerations and duty of care in supporting a hybrid workforce
      • Discussing what employees value most
      • Reviewing the importance of communication as-well-as service provision as key to reaching your people
Marc Holl


Marc Holl
Head of Quality -  Primary Care, Nuffield Health


Louise wright


Louise Wright
National Physiology Lead


11.30 - 12.15

Embedding a Culture of Wellbeing

For organisations, the past few years have provided the catalyst for reinvention; whilst employees now find themselves moving from a place of persistent uncertainty, to being increasingly empowered with more choice, autonomy and accountability as employers wake-up to the need to place people and purpose at the heart of their business.

Your reward and benefits strategy can’t ensure a resilient culture of wellbeing on its own, but it can play a critical role in supporting employees and authentically demonstrating your value as an employer in this new world of work; from mental wellbeing to financial education; inclusivity to sustainability; leadership to learning.

Join PIB for this interactive workshop where we will explore: 

      • Using a tailored approach to design a cohesive wellbeing agenda which supports the evolving needs of the organisation to enable your business to perform at it’s best.
      • Integrating DEI and wellbeing to build a truly inclusive organisational culture and engage hard to reach employees with wellbeing initiatives
      • Embedding a wellbeing culture so it becomes part of the organisation's DNA and empowers your people to thrive
Clare Dare


Clare Dare
Head of Health, Risk & Technology, PIB Employee Benefits

Alison Dodd


Alison Dodd
Employee Benefits Manager, AWE plc

13.30 - 14.15

Your free toolkit for better-built wellbeing and performance

Wellbeing is keeping business leaders awake at night. For those in the know, the link between employee health and business performance is increasingly clear. But, for many, achieving that nirvana is a daunting and complex challenge. Just where do you begin?

This interactive workshop will give you the tools to build better wellbeing, with precision and impact. From targeting your support initiatives to measuring their value, and maximising engagement to getting ongoing buy-in from the Board, there’s something for businesses at all stages of their wellbeing journey.

It’s time organisations applied the same discipline and rigour to improving wellbeing as other business goals. Join us, and find your framework to make it happen.

Jonathan Best headshot


Jonathan Best
Chief Customer Officer, GoodShape


14.45 - 15.30

How to make the case for better mental health support, despite budget cuts

The value of mental health support for employees is hard to prove. Could your organisation be better off providing unlimited, on-demand, 24/7 care, even with this kind of financial pressure? 

Wysa asked 1,000 UK employees about their mental health and found 1 in 3 are suffering with moderate to severe symptoms of depression or anxiety. We asked them whether they had sought professional support, through the NHS or EAP, and who they are comfortable talking to about their mental health, to understand why the current system isn’t working as well as it should.

Come to this workshop to understand:

  • How to discover hidden levels of suffering unique to your organisation

  • Why the barriers to getting help exist, despite giving people access to support

  • How you can overcome access barriers and get people the right level of help at the right time

We’ll provide you with a free toolkit to help you get the measure of mental health needs in your workforce and share how you can use this insight to make the case for better mental health support for your teams.

Sarah Baldry


Sarah Baldry
VP Marketing, Wysa


10.15 - 11.00

Everyone welcome’: How Enhancing your Menopause Support Drives Inclusion

Join Peppy’s Chief Nursing Officer and menopause specialist Kathy Abermethy, and other HR and Benefits professionals for this interactive session as we discuss the future of menopause support as a tool of driving an inclusive workplace.

1 in 4 consider leaving their jobs because of menopause, whilst 1 in 10 actually do

As the fastest-growing demographic in the UK workforce, supporting midlife women during menopause is essential for businesses looking to cultivate diverse leadership, strong retention strategies, and a happy and healthy workforce.

We encourage you to join the session ready to share and learn. The following topics will be explored:

  • How menopause is impacting your business
  • The steps you can take to support your employees in the workplace
  • How to tackle menopause through your benefits strategy
Kathy Abernethy


Kathy Abernethy
Chief Nursing Officer and Director of Menopause Services, Peppy
Peppy 4


Molly Wilmot


Molly Wilmot
Director of Corporate Partnerships, Peppy
Peppy 4

11.30 - 12.15

How to get tough conversations right at work—and keep your best employees

People’s personal worries don’t disappear when they’re at work.

Grief, finances, health concerns—we all face this stuff at some point. Most of the time, we don’t tell anyone at work. But when we do, the first place we turn is normally our manager or HR.

In these moments, how the manager shows up can mean the difference between a teammate handing in their notice—or forming a lasting bond with the team.

The goal of this workshop is to arm managers & HR folks with knowledge & tools to support teammates with whatever they’re facing—and to respond in the right way when these tough conversations pop up, however difficult or awkward they seem.


Polly Haselton 2


Polly Haselton
Head of Care, Oliva
oliva 3


Abi Williams


Abi Williams
CRO, Oliva
oliva 3


13.30 - 14.15

Dr Rock with TheMusicLicence
Ditch the fads. Hack your habits.

New research shows dementia, chronic diseases, and some cancers, build during working life, but can be prevented through some simple, epigenetic-based, habit hacks. Yet most employers, and their workforces, currently have a very low level of knowledge of this important epigenetics field (how your environment and behaviour change gene expression).

The emerging longevity science reveals how to use habit hacking to embed simple routines that slow biological ageing and extend healthy lifespan.

Expert insights by King’s|Stanford|Harvard trained, neuroscientist and longevity expert, Dr Julia Jones aka Dr Rock, and learn how to nail this simple habit-hacking toolkit for:

  • Metabolic health and weight
  • Menopause symptoms
  • Sleep
  • Focus
  • Stress

Dr Rock and TheMusicLicence are available for a chat on Stand W300, come along and find out more about how you can improve your employee wellbeing and engagement.


Julia Jones


Dr Julia Jones (aka ‘Dr Rock’)
Neuroscientist, PPL PRS and Founder of



16:15 - 17:00

Make a Difference Awards

Make a Difference New will reveal the winners of this year's awards at The Watercooler on the Social and Wellbeing stage on day one. The Make A Difference Awards, held in association with the London Evening Standard and The Watercooler Event, are an opportunity for us to stop, think and thank the colleagues and employers who have really made a difference over the past year to workplace culture, mental health and wellbeing. Those who are leading the way and inspiring others to follow their example.

Voting is still open for some categories, head on over to cast yours and pick up a ticket for the presentation.

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