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090. Thank Goodness for Lionheart with CEO Davina Goodchild
Episode 9021st July 2022 • The Surveyor Hub Podcast • Marion Ellis
00:00:00 00:57:28

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We are very lucky to have LionHeart - the benevolent organisation for RICS professionals - in our lives.

The LionHeart's support team help RICS professionals and their families through problems - from confidential advice, and emotional support to financial grants.

In this episode, your host chartered surveyor, industry coach and mentor Marion Ellis introduces Davina Goodchild, CEO of LionHeart to the listeners.

Davina shares how LionHeart is run as an organisation, how they bring well-being into the work they do, the services they offer and the insights they have about the surveying industry.

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Transcripts

Marion Ellis 0:06

Welcome to the surveyor hub podcast with me Marion Ellis. And today I'm talking to Davina Goodchild from Lionheart and before we switch off because we're talking about charity, I'd really urge you to listen to what she says. I think we can learn an awful lot from Davina and how Lionheart is run as an organisation, how they bring wellbeing into the work they do. But also as a surveyor, whatever stage you are in your career, you might find it really useful to know the services they offer and the insights that they've had. So I hope you enjoy this conversation. Don't forget to rate review and follow and do share it with other people you know who might find it interesting. So, welcome to the podcast. Davina. It's great to have you on. Oh, am I recording? Yes I am!

Davina Goodchild 1:00

Yes, I think it said when I joined "recording".

Marion Ellis 1:06

Yeah, meet the expert podcaster here. I'm pleased to have you on because of we've bumped into each other a few times. Oh yeah. We've never had a good old chinwag have we so those are things I'd like to chat to you about. So for those who were listening, and have no idea who you are, could you just introduce yourself?

Davina Goodchild 1:28

Sure. Yeah. I'm Davina Davina Goodchild. And I'm the chief executive of Lionheart, which is the benevolent organisation for our IRCS professionals.

Marion Ellis 1:40

And there's a couple of things I want to talk to you about. But I think the first thing I want to say, is a thank you, oh, because I don't know whether you get a thank you either personally, and also, all of your amazing people that work for you. But we're really, you know, we always say we're lucky to have lion hearts, and it's a safety net, and, and all of those things, but having experience support from you, myself having referred lots of surveyors that I work with, you know, and I've come across to Lionheart, it really does make a difference. And it helps us not just in our careers, and in our lives. So I want to just start by saying thank you, because I don't know whether you really know that, but whether you really really know that.

Davina Goodchild 2:27

That's so nice. That's so nice. You know, I was talking to one of our support staff off earlier, I won't mention their name because there'll be embarrassed, but she had called me to say, I'm really embarrassed, but somebody has asked for your number to say thank you. And I said to her, don't be embarrassed. That's why you're here, I didn't say amazing. She said that this person told her that she'd changed his life and that he'd, you know, he'd been in a really tough place and that she'd worked with him. And this was just like, literally a couple of hours ago. So people do say thank you. They did. And you know, we get messages all of the time. And to be honest with you, that's, that's a bonus. It's lovely to hear, thank you. But I think all of us, I think everybody that works at Lionheart, the thing that's important to us is that we can do that, it's just such an amazing place to work where you can, you know, you can make a difference. Even if you're not, like one of our support officers, you call me earlier, even if you work in the finance team, or you work in a different team, you know, that you're contributing to those peopl that, you know, use our services and that we have made a difference to. So, you know, it's, it's great that we can do that. And that's thanks enough for us really.

Marion Ellis 3:56

olent Fund, and I think about:

Davina Goodchild 5:55

How amazing!

Marion Ellis 5:57

And it was, you know, it was the numbers of the money they had in who the donations were from and how much they'd given. But there was a lovely little paragraph at the end that said, something like, you know, we've donated some money to a student whose father was a chartered surveyor died in the war, I think, the First World War, you know, when he's now just qualified as a surveyor. And you just think it was, you know, it was, it was obviously, like an annual report of some kind, but then squeezed in this, you know, actually, there's a difference, and it was really lovely to see. So So for people who don't know about lying, how did it come about? And what is a Benevolent Fund? Let's talk about that.

Davina Goodchild 6:41

th century, so that would be:

Marion Ellis 8:16

Yeah, so it's for surveyors by surveyors. Yeah, exactly. And one of the things I found when I read through these old journals, you know, we, you know, we talk about Modus, or we don't talk about Modus, depending on. But yeah, rather than just thought, you know, share industry news, it was actually much more personal. I found poetry in there, you know, it was sharing their life experiences. And as I looked through the journals that I had, through the First World War, it was very much, you know, very poignant, you know, the bad days, the families, and there was also lines, I remember reading a line that said, you know, how are we going to value you know, the men are not coming back? What's going to happen, right? We can't even comprehend any of that in our in our lifetimes now. But it was really, really poignant. And for me, I've always thought surveying is yes, it's about property and building, but it's actually very much about people. And that was a real reminder for me as I, as I

Davina Goodchild 9:22

yeah, I mean, it would that was a surprise to me. When I started working at Lionheart, that aspect of, of surveying, I didn't know anything about surveyors or surveying or anything. I mean, literally nothing. And I still don't know a massive amount. But I know more than I did. But yes, that was one of the things that struck me when I when I started working at like on my background was youth work and young people and charities that worked with young people. It's just completely different for me and completely new. And it was meeting Well, first of all, it was meeting the trustees who were all Chartered Surveyors, who were people personally, people I was quite surprised. Actually, I was. I was a bit. Yeah, I was surprised because I thought well, it was all about numbers. And you know, sort of you having a very serious, it's all about the rules and the numbers and so I was very surprised by just how absolutely lovely to be honest. The people that I met were

Marion Ellis:

you looked out?

Davina Goodchild:

Well, yeah, I did, actually. Yeah, I did.

Marion Ellis:

Let me ask you about your but your career. So you said you had a background in working with homeless and tell me a bit.

Davina Goodchild:

That's right. Oh, well. So I started volunteering when I was very young, I think was about 16. And I volunteered at the school that I used to go to and just got really passionate about volunteering. So then when I went to university, and I did do a degree in philosophy, which, you know, it's probably not very much used to anybody really. But it was great fun. But I did lots and lots and lots of volunteering. When I was at uni loads, I pretty much volunteered for any volunteering opportunity that was going on, I volunteered. And I wound up volunteering in what was called a therapeutic community for young people. And really enjoyed it was run by an organisation called Richmond fellowship. And I volunteered there, and then they took me on as a sort of casual paid worker. And I just really enjoyed working as a young person myself, you know, I was only what 19 I think back then. But I just really enjoyed working with groups of young people and with young people individually. And then when I graduated, obviously, a philosophy degree doesn't necessarily get you a job. What got me my jobs was my experience of volunteering. So I then did lots of different roles with young people, mostly young people. So young homeless people have worked in secure unit for a while with some young offenders. I've worked with people coming out of prison, young offenders coming out of prison. And then I worked with young volunteers for a period of time, that was a love that that was amazing. And I wound up running a national youth organisation, which was about youth volunteering, youth led volunteering. So it was about groups of young people coming together as seen something that they thought needed fixing or some kind of campaign they wanted to work on, and helping them to do that. So the organisation around was called Youth Action Network. And then that closed and we merged with another national in 2011. And that's how I ended up here. Because at that time, I haven't applied for a job for a very long time. It's about I think about six years. And somebody sent me a job sent me the job as a sort of a bit of to be honest with you, it was a bit tongue in cheek, it was a bit like look at this weird charity, it's Chartered Surveyors you ever thought they needed, you know, a charity. And I applied, partly because I were one, I was a bit intrigued, but it's mostly because I hadn't applied for a job for a long time and interest. So it's good to get into the habit of writing an application form. And I was just really chuffed when I got an interview. So went to the interview. And then I met some of the staff team. I was hook line and sinker after that, honestly, because the passion that they had for helping people and the open approach they had to helping people. And the fact that the funding was completely different from how it used to be when I worked at Youth Action Network was very restricted funding. This funding, you know,the fact that we have all of our income comes from donations means it's much more freeing. You can you can spend that money as long as you're meeting your charity blames you much more free in how you can spend that and I was blown away. I just thought it was amazing. And I didn't know anything about benevolent funds either and benevolent organisations and I learned all about that and thought that was amazing. So when I got the job was very, very excited, but also very scared.

So you came straight in at the top of CEO.

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. So we're the CEO of a national youth to CEO of an international benevolent charity. Yeah. Let

Marion Ellis:

Let me ask you about that. Because, you know, we often talk about women not having the confidence to go for the big jobs. Yeah. Yeah. And there's you just rocking up about this, but I'm gonna give it a go. And I'm sure it was much more in depth, or that by that but about that, that, but even though as you're talking, I'm taking a wealth of experience and life experience with people. Yeah. But you know, to, to get to that point. And, you know, I'm sure with that kind of work. You've mentioned the restrictions. You know, you've got to within a set of rules, and there's a lot of regulation and guidance around the area, like we have a surveying, you've got you've got the set.

Davina Goodchild:

Yeah Charity Commission. Yeah. Absolutely

Marion Ellis:

there aren't many female CEOs, you know

Davina Goodchild:

there are in the voluntary sector, not as many. I mean, it's still not equal. But there are more in the voluntary sector. I mean, the volunteer half have worked in the voluntary apart from a brief stint in McDonald's when I was 16. My career has been within the voluntary sector. And there are more women, definitely. Because I suppose it's seen as a caring profession, and, you know, working within the voluntary sector is seen as that sort of environment. So there are more women anyway. Yeah, I think, I think it was at the time. It felt quite brave. I did feel like I was being brave. If you know what I mean, you cancel? Yeah. Yeah, I did. Because I'd gone from, you know, a new youth work inside out, I knew youth funding inside out, and I knew how to run a youth charity. But this charity was completely different. You know, I knew how to apply for bids, right fund funding bids, you know, and I've never really done any, you know, donation, from donations from the public fund type fundraising. So that was completely new to me. Never had never done that before. But yeah, just, as soon as honestly, as soon as I met the staff team, it just felt like it was obviously meant to be. Yeah

Marion Ellis:

That's the kind of thing that motivates you, isn't it? You know, I can understand how working with youth and I see it with the you know, the young surveyors that I come across the fuse YaSM on that phase for the work that energy, and I think, yes, I want to be like you again, but I'm not. You get that energy? Yeah. But the motivation that you then get on what it sounds like you have when you joined was people who care and a place that you were you feel fit in your head in the right direction, you've got a purpose or are motivated by it. Absolutely. Yeah. What were some of the challenges, then as you came into that for you, and perhaps the business? What were the Well, imagine that being a CEO of a business like this is an easy ride?

Davina Goodchild:

No, it's not. I mean, there are always challenges with charities, there always are. That's just because of the nature of the business. Maybe at first, I think because my background, I mean, I used to wear trainers and jeans. That was my uniform. And then I came to Lionheart. And obviously, the people we help were quite smart and businesslike. And so I felt I remember going and buying a whole new wardrobe, like high heels and sort of business suits and all of that. And then over time, I sort of realised what actually, you know, was still a charity. You know, so I don't I don't need to those are the some of those edges got rubbed off a little bit. didn't take that long, really, for that to happen.

Marion Ellis:

I am sitting wearing my trainers

Davina Goodchild:

Yes, that's right. But yeah, I think it took a bit of time for me to sort of get used to a different set of trustees because my previous trustees were all youth workers like me. So you know, at board meetings, we would get the post it notes out, or you know, we'd sometimes get really creative with some play and stuff like that. But trying to instigate some of that with the trustees that I inherited, actually, to be honest, some of the trustees now that I have now I think they would be okay, if I got my post it notes and my straws and my, you know, whatever. And said, Let's do an exercise I think then probably go for it, but not at the time when I joined. And the challenge is really any challenge for any challenge charities, balancing, you know, being able to reach the people you want to reach finding them, then finding you. You know, awareness is that is still our biggest challenge. It's a huge challenge. People just knowing that we're here, knowing what we're here for remembering us when they do need something, or even if you don't need something, remembering we've got something to offer, every chartered surveyor doesn't matter what they're doing doesn't matter what the circumstances are. You might not be at all facing the challenge. But you might be interested in some of our webinars, you know. So that's that's one, one challenge. And then of course, you've got the fundraising challenge. That's always a challenge because you've constantly got to you can't rest on your laurels you've got constantly we've got to be asking for donations to keep the charity going for the future.

Marion Ellis:

And as anybody who's tried to sell raffle tickets to the PTA at school money is hard work

Davina Goodchild:

It is, yeah, it's hard work. And you just, I think because I'm, I've worked in charities for the whole career. I don't, it doesn't bother me asking people for money doesn't bother me at all quite happy to do it. And I'm quite happy people say no, I don't feel awkward or anything like that. But I think some people might, you know, some people who are new to charities or new to fundraising, they might find that a little bit awkward. But you know, we do and it's great, because we do amazing work. So I don't, I don't feel at all like, I'm, I can't think of the

Marion Ellis:

Just justify, isn't it? And maybe that's, that's the, you know, you mentioned awareness. And I think that's where the gap perhaps is, between people knowing who line up heart are, what they do. And how is that relevant to me as a member of the IRCS? Because it's not just Chartered Surveyors. It's people who are, yeah, you're right. I'm paying members. And also my writing, thinking, even if you've retired, you're a surveyor for only a short lived access to the services. And so that's the thing, isn't it been able to articulate that as to how is this relevant for me? Because I'm not having a breakdown right now? No, I don't need your help right now. Yeah. But you know, but you might in the future, or your family might have some challenges. You don't know what, what might be might be coming up. But and that's why I think there's, you know, the awareness pieces is key, but it's a tough sell, to sell a charity

Davina Goodchild:

Yes, it is a bit because like you say, nobody ever thinks they're going to be in that position. And, you know, I always think to myself, I'd love to go to an event. I'd love it. If I went to an event. And I did a talk. And everyone in the audience said, Yeah, we know. And I didn't hear someone come up to me afterwards, every single time I go to event this happens every time without fail, someone will come up to me after go afterwards and go, Oh, if I'd known a few years ago, I would or you could have really helped me if I could have done with you a few years ago, I find that so frustrating. I'd love to go somewhere and not hear that.

Marion Ellis:

You know, this is where I think we all have a responsibility. And if I think about the young space that I was newly qualified today is that I was just mentioned, you know, I see it almost as my duty to and that's why I say, get on the mailing list, go and have a look, see, see what's there be part of it. Because there was a real community feel I think

Davina Goodchild:

It belongs to you as our IRCS professionals it does. I mean, you know, we're an independent charity, etcetera, etcetera. We're a company, right? But actually, we belong to the profession. We do. That's what we're here for. We you know, we listen to you, we respond to you, everything we do is for you. Where your charity. So yeah, absolutely. It's great to have your support and the support of all the ambassadors and anybody that ever retweets or, you know, or goes on LinkedIn, and, and likes, and all of that really helps. Because it was just that means it spreads that voice

Marion Ellis:

And I think that's the thing, you know, that there's a range from, you know, you know, giving big donations on fundraising, all the way through to a like a share, absolutely a nudge that's still contributing. In terms of funding and fundraising. I know there's a few different activities that you do. And I'm, you know, I've been following the surveying firm, six. I mean, what other creative ways or what's been successful, or what do you struggle with? Oh, God, different ways. Are you all give it a go? Let's see.

Davina Goodchild:

Yeah, pretty much. Yeah. If people come to us with an idea. Yeah, we'll support them. I mean, many, when I started working at Lionheart, we had these big, quite formal events. So there was one in Birmingham that was a quiz and there was one up north, which was a kind of talent show, I think. And they use many years ago, they made lots and lots and lots of money, but I think over the years, they get got less popular, and so they didn't make quite so much money. So, you know, if people wanted to do those again, we probably wouldn't say no, but we might just do them in a different way. So we, whatever it is, there's loads of things going on. So there's golf, there are golf competitions that go on there. Lots of football things that happen and they have they're quite low key. So the people involved in them. They do them year on year, without really any hoo ha, they just kind of get on with it locally and do their thing and then send us the money. It's amazing, really, because they don't make a big fuss. And they just do it they kind of quiet stealth fundraising really. And we try and promote as much as we can. But sometimes we only hear about it when we get the check. So they tell us afterwards, Oh, we did this thing. And we think, Oh, we could have helped you promote it.

Marion Ellis:

It's that awareness piece that comes with it. I know in the last year, not early on this year, we had a bit of an auction to sell some of Malcolm policies. Oh, yes. No, hi. Yeah, no. And there are lots of different ways that you can get involved and absolutely contribute. But it all is absolutely vital. And it all really makes a difference, doesn't it? Oh, it does. Just talk about some of the services that you offer. I think that when I first came across, Lionheart, I actually attended an event. I think it was a John. Oh, Lauren. Oh, yeah. Mental Health about I'm not quite sure how it came about. Which was an eye opener for it. Yeah. And for people who don't know, he was a surveyor who said he committed suicide was a shock to his family. Oh, yeah. But they weren't they put together with Lionhearts help us sit back. And it opened up a calm conversation about mental health. And yes, you know, as we record this now, or in 2022, we've been through a global pandemic, talking about myself more than we ever have. But it's still something that's quite stigmatised. Oh, yeah, we it's not easy, but somebody smoke the other things that Lionheart does in office.

Davina Goodchild:

Right. So we have, I would say we have two main services. And so the one that most people know about is our helpline. So most people know that they can ring us if they need support, but then that's probably where their knowledge ends, and they don't know what they can access through that helpline. So what will happen if I just take it right through from the start, so what will happen is someone phones a hotline, it's not like a great big call centre, you've got three people answering the phone with names, they're real people with lots of experience, and they're amazing. So Tracy, Ben or Claire will pick up the phone. And just listen for that first call can sometimes it can be up to an hour and even more, because quite often, it's the first time the person who's calling has spoken to anybody other than probably their family, about whatever it is they're bringing. So then from then on, they'll only need to speak to that person. So you know how sometimes you found somewhere, and then you've got to find them back. And you've got to repeat all of the details all over again. And it can be really tedious. So once your phone's phoned Lionheart, you'll speak to the same person and it will be that same person held

Marion Ellis:

that's important because it builds a relationship, but it's also trust.

Davina Goodchild:

Absolutely. Absolutely. So and then what they'll do is they'll work with you to figure out well, what kinds of things can we offer that are going to be helpful, sometimes it's as simple as just someone to check in with, so that you'll have a call every couple of weeks just to talk to just someone to talk to you, like a mate really like a friend, you can just go oh, this has happened, you know, and get some support and maybe some advice. So that's probably the most basic thing you would get. And then you can access our other services. So the one that most people know that we do is our grants. So we've got two types of grants. We've got an emergency grant. And those are four. Well, it is what it says. So emergency situations, things like fires, floods, and actually, we've recently helped people in Ukraine with our emergency grant. And they're designed to be they're not means tested at all. They're just we check that you're a chartered surveyor. And we check that the things that you say has happened. So whether it be fire, flood, or whatever it is, and then we send you some money really quickly. And I think those grants are of about 1000 pounds. And they're designed to get you through those first few days and weeks after that, whatever it is that accident or whatever it is, that's happened. So that's the first type of grant. The second type of grant is an ongoing grant. And they can be paid for up to two years. And they really are for when some kind of circumstances changed in your life. So you're not working, maybe it's due to ill health or you've been made redundant. Or it could be that you're off on long term sick, and your pay has run out. You know, it doesn't matter doesn't really matter what the reason is, if you see what I mean, if you've had something happen, and it has changed your finances significantly for the worse. It is means tested. So we look at what you've got coming in. We're looking at what you've got going out There's a calculation we use. And then we pay those grants up to two years, there is a cap. I think it's around 6000 pounds, I think, for a single person, and then obviously gets more added as the family's big.

Marion Ellis:

And it does make a difference. And I'm sure she won't mind me sharing. I did a when I did the women in surveying summit a couple of years ago, I'll put a link to it in the show notes. A friend of mine, Rebecca, her child was born with serious medical life changing conditions. And I think two days later, she got her our IRCS fees, off demand. And she phoned them up and said, Look, I, I cannot my career's over. And they referred her to Lionheart. That's good to have the support. She had the counselling. She works in building control. Now, you know, she's great to get successful career her child is fine. You know, but it was at that point when she needed it, but again, she didn't, didn't know about it. So it's, it's stuff that really makes a difference. You might use Ukraine, and I think that's something people don't necessarily realise. Or they forget, you know, we talk about our IRCS and a global domination, but actually international organisation, but that means Lionheart, I guess has to see if people internationally. And how great was it is that you've been able to support people? Yeah. And surveys in Ukraine.

Davina Goodchild:

Absolutely. Yes. Families moving. That's really effectively what it is. So families moving either from one part of Ukraine to another, or moving families out of Ukraine and resettling elsewhere. Yeah, so it's usually an emergent emergency grants. I'm not sure whether there are any longer term grants there. There may well pay. I know about the emergency ones. We've had a few. Yeah. And they're still available. Obviously, they'll always be available. Yeah. Yeah.

Marion Ellis:

And so. So we talked about the mental health, but there's also some more practical things as well.

Davina Goodchild:

Oh, yeah. Yeah. So there's things like so there's coaching, which is really, really great. If you're in a position where you're not sure about something, or you are facing a challenge that you can't get over or you're struggling with something. It's not mental health issue, but it's more, I don't know where to go with my career. Or I don't know, I want to ask, I want to ask for a pay rise. And I don't quite know how to approach it, those kinds of things.

Marion Ellis:

when I when I visit, and when I coach people, I always refer them to Lionheart and the first since because you've got that, that that free resource, yes, you know, and then people need more, or it takes it to a different level, or it's to do with a small business then they, then they come to me and I can work with them in different ways. Yeah. I mean, I don't need to reinvent the wheel, you know?

Davina Goodchild:

No, I mean, our coaching is much more about those personal situations rather than business coaching, definitely.

Marion Ellis:

Is it CBT? No, that would be the counselling. Yeah, so then counselling, yeah, coaching is

Davina Goodchild:

much more coaching and much more action oriented. Whereas the counselling, depending on what type you have, and we do offer CBT is less like that. You see what I mean? So yeah, so there's the coaching and the counselling, and then there's legal advice. So we are for about an hour. I think he's free legal advice. On any legal issue. Could be family law, could be criminal law could be, I don't know, employment, employment law. Yeah. Any kind of legal, legal issue you have. And then we also offer support for people who are looking to either while to get back into work, either they've been made redundant, or they've had a period of time out of work. And they're looking to bet and get back in. So it's kind of coaching but it's more about your LinkedIn profile. And looking at your CV interview skills, job search, that kind of thing.

Marion Ellis:

And this is something that really helped me so when I left my corporate role, about four years ago, I was on the floor, I thought my career was over. And I had some severe friends that picked me up and dusted me off. But I did contact Lionheart Tracy is just fabulous. I'm always introducing people to her. So thank you, Tracy, if you're listening and, you know, I spent think I spoke to Bernie and I had some sessions and they helped me explore actually, what is my career and now, you know, because although we were surveyors and we do the technical stuff, actually, life throws all sorts of curveballs at you. And even though you know only did it for, you know, a month or two it was enough to give me that breathing space to get my head together to then move on to the next thing, right. What I'm You know, over the year so you've been what is it? 13 or so years now,

Davina Goodchild:

Lionheart only 11. Yeah.

Marion Ellis:

So what changes? Have you seen in that time? You know, are there any trends with what surveys need support for then? And perhaps what's different now?

Davina Goodchild:

Yeah, I think so I think, well, gosh, what hasn't changed is probably an easier question. But yeah, everything has changed really how people access that support. So a lot of support now is accessed online. A lot of the support that we offer is proactive rather than reactive. So all of our webinars, I would say, that's what they're for. They're much more proactive. They're how to sidestep issues, or how to deal with them if they come up, rather than oh, gosh, now we got an issue. What am I going to do I know, our phone helpline. So that's changed, I think the conversation around mental health has really changed massively. And I can remember speaking to a corporate heart and how many years ago it would be probably not that many, probably only about four or five years ago, I having this conversation, and I sort of was talking about mental health and about our mental health and webinars and the symposium, and this person in this corporate went, well, we don't have any of that here. And I said, what your employees don't have minds, then they don't know what I just thought it was really interesting. So that as huge as change massively. People are willing to at least acknowledge that there is that people have mental health, be it good or bad. Whereas that person literally said, we don't have any of that.

Marion Ellis:

Do you find that's a generational thing?

Davina Goodchild:

Do you know, I don't know. I don't know, maybe, maybe, maybe more young people, I think, certainly, what I would consider to be young people. So I don't know, up to the age of I'm getting a bit older now. So I think young people are under 30. I certainly think young people are more willing to acknowledge and talk about their own mental health. I think a lot of people that are older, are happy to talk about other people's and to listen to other people talk about their mental health. But I still think there's a sort of a tendency to hold back in talking about our own and how we are, they might be really supportive of somebody who's, you know, talking about their own experiences and challenges in their mental health. But having that courage to acknowledge that you have your own, and that you have struggled. Yeah, I think there is still that there. Whereas I think young people don't have that they're quite happy to say, oh, yeah, I was really anxious about that, or whatever

Marion Ellis:

It's a different world. We didn't have mobile phones. So when we find that there's a difference or a split between corporates activity and involvement and small businesses? Or are people who work for themselves and contact the helpline?

Davina Goodchild:

Do you know, I would be the wrong person to ask that you will probably be needing to ask the support services team rather than me. I don't know

Marion Ellis:

I say I saw that. Because I see. I see a lot of activity and engagement with the corporate firms like the cycling and golf things. Yes. mentioned. And I guess with a corporate, it's always easier to organise some of those events, because they've got the resources, the people

Davina Goodchild:

they've got an infrastructure to be able to do it

Marion Ellis:

But when it comes to surveyors, who work by themselves, and I work with lots of surveyors, who run small businesses. And this was a bit of a surprise for me, and it's a quite a sad thing to see, or to experience, but a lot of survey is a lonely, right. And loneliness is, it's a horrible thing that you can't shake. I mean, you know, most of us have experienced some of that in some way, shape, or form over the two years of the pandemic for forced reasons. But when you work for yourself, and you're in your own business, you don't necessarily have that infrastructure that support network of anybody to talk to. And, you know, through the coaching that I do, you know, most of them are men, obviously, because that's just the way the demographics are at the moment. But there is a thread of just been able to appreciate having the space to talk. Yeah, right. And, you know, we can if we sat down and said we're going to have a mental health catch up, people wouldn't do it. Know who created the opportunity. In the right way, you know, then and then give people that space builds that that trust, you know, then people feel like they've they've got some sort of way. Yeah, absolutely. Over the past, you know, past four years as I've worked with small business surveyors. You know, but then, you know, when I think about actually other surveys that I've come across, or people who reach out to me for, can I just ask a question Marian, there's a real sense actually, of loneliness and feeling isolated, that they don't have people to talk to or about serious things or something that they're they're struggling with. And that's why I think the Lionheart helpline and support is, is so vital that you can contact.

Davina Goodchild:

we have had people that have just found once just want someone to talk to, and they have the one conversation, they go away, they just wanted to talk to someone about whatever it was they had on their mind. And that's absolutely fine. You know, just because your phone once a year, we don't expect you to phone again, if you don't want to. that's entirely up to you. But we have been talking internally about that kind of thing about, you know, we support people as individuals. But actually, there are a lot of commonalities between those people that are having that support. And sort of thinking for the future, is there a way that Lionheart can create these safe spaces, potentially online? For people like that? Who then you know, they know it's a safe space, and they know the other people there are experiencing the same sorts of things as they are? So it's interesting to hear you say that, because those are the kinds of conversations we've been having internally about what's next. What do we do next? What can we think of for next? So?

Marion Ellis:

And building communities or those safe spaces is an interesting journey, that I've been on that journey. Yeah, for a couple of years. And some things work and some things don't. You know, and you can create these spaces, but doesn't mean people are going to show Oh, absolutely. We got that awareness. It's all about engagement. You know, how do you entice people out? How do you get them? How do you feel, you know, make them feel comfortable. But I'm very much a fan of creating your own network. And I think and I think this is covered in one of the webinars, actually, the online webinars because I used to deliver some webinars for Lionheart Lionheart a few years ago, you know, but be able to create your own network of support. And just being aware of that, where the gaps are, who you need, what you need, what that looks like, you know, if you think about, you know, financial support and advice, well, that can range from anything to listen to a money mindset. Yeah. Following someone on Tik Tok on how to, you know, make a budget for food planning work, all the way through to speaking to Lionheart on help with budgeting and planning and the emergency grants and funding support. So it's recognising that there are things that you can do for yourself. And then going finding some of that for what just make a note of it for when and if you ever absolutely need it, you know, but it's quite empowering to is a difficult thing to do. It's quite empowering to know that you're in control, and you can do it rather than wait for somebody to rescue you

Davina Goodchild:

Yeah, no, that's right. That's absolutely true. And I think, probably because we're in the kind of work we were in, we know, we know that. And we know, we know that we can find those resources and that we kind of what's the word deserve in inverted commas? That those things and that we should be nurturing ourselves and looking after ourselves like that. But I don't know whether, you know, the people that you're talking about, and just people out there, I suppose, in in the industry, whether there is open to that as we might be, you know, I mean, we're, we're women of a particular age. You know what I mean? I don't know whether

Marion Ellis:

I do and, you know, but it's like, it's like I remember when I'm when my kids were little, and the neither of them slept until it were three. I remember some helpful people saying to me, Marian, you need to sleep when the baby sleeps, right? I just wanted to say, explosive. Honestly, when a baby bloody sleeps, and this is the thing, you've got to be ready to hear it and you know, and we can say look after yourself, get exercise, you know, hydration is really key

Davina Goodchild:

everybody could write an essay and pass, couldn't they? You could all pass the GCSE , but actually do we do it?

Marion Ellis:

And it's that again, it's that motivation of what all's what's going to make you do it? Yeah. And but what are the blockers and, and often that's the mindset of how we feel about ourselves, that we've got someone to help us, you know, reframe something. And just noticing the resistance to it. Yeah.

Davina Goodchild:

And I think if that's the place where you work is important in that. So if the place where you work is, is sort of encouraging you to be looking after yourself and to be nurturing to yourself and all of those things, and you're more likely to do it. But if you're in a small business, and they don't have that infrastructure for a start, and they don't have that's not the culture, there must be incredibly difficult.

Marion Ellis:

Well, I get I guess, you know, there are big firms out there actually, who don't have that culture. And there's a big difference between doing well being and being well, you know, is quite stupid. And so you can have all the, you know, fruit baskets delivered and gym membership as part of your employment, but anyone necessarily do it. And so it does come back down to the culture. And again, no matter what size of business you are, whether you work for yourself or your big corporate, you know, you have to prioritise Yes, you've got to learn about and unless you make it a priority, it just doesn't, it doesn't happen.

Davina Goodchild:

Yeah, well, it happens to you rather than with you at the driving seat.

Marion Ellis:

you talked about, you know, things that sort of coming in the in the future and new trends and things that you're seeing something that's, you know, heavily on my radar is neuro diversity. Yeah. And the more surveys that I speak to, the more I talk about it, more people come forward and say, Yeah, I think I might have this or actually, thanks for talking about that. Or, you know, the, and I'm seeing it an awful lot. Yesterday is which quite? Which surprised me? Is that something that you're seeing or supporting anyway?

Davina Goodchild:

Yeah, it is. And it's something we've been doing some work on trying to well, trying to find out some exploratory work really trying to find out. What are we writing that? And is it how we see it, that it's people, not there is that it's happening more, or it's more prevalent, but just more people are a bit like mental health, I suppose people are more prepared to talk about it. So that's the first thing. The second thing is, well, what can we do. And the first thing we can do is share experiences, get people to share their experience, like we have with the mental health ambassadors. So I think we are recruiting, I don't know if we are recruiting now, or whether we have recruited or it's in the future, but it's certainly something we've talked about is finding ambassadors who are, who are neurodiverse, who will talk about their experience, to encourage other people. And to just build awareness, really. And in terms of services, I guess, they come out of the conversations that we have with those people about well, what would help you? What could help you? What kinds of things would you need in order to one in order to help you in your journey as a chartered surveyor? What as a surveyor in the industry?

Marion Ellis:

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And that's where I think the counselling and coaching can really help because, you know, when I'm so I was diagnosed with ADHD earlier this year. So it's a surprise to me, it's a learning journey. But there's sort of three ways to approach it, there's your medication is one route, there is coaching, and the support, you're having someone to check in reframe all of those things, and then there's the well being learning how to look after yourself. Right, you know, and when I when I think about, you know, how did I get to 47. And now, I learned all of this. And there's, there's quite an influx or an opening of women who have been diagnosed later because of that presents very differently for girls than boys. But then I realised Well, you know, actually the certainly the last 10 years, I've done a lot of personal development. I've done a lot of work coaching a trained as a coach, and all of that has actually been helping me and what I find with people who are neurodiverse, or discover it later, is they've got all of these coping strategies. And they can perform really well but then sometimes something just flips whether it's pregnancy, you know, whether it's changing a job, you know, time of life, whatever something just to say on that network of support can fall down because you've been working so hard to keep it up. So it's something that I definitely see a lot of And then, you know, I spoke to a young female surveyor just yesterday, actually, who reached out and said, I heard you mentioned this Marian, that was there about it, because I couldn't share my experiences and pointed her in sort of different directions. And you don't always need to have medication, you don't always need to tell your employer, even if you don't want to. But by being open with your employer, if you're in that situation means that they can actually attempt to help you. And problem often is, is that you don't know what you need yet. And so they say, well, help tell me what you want. And I'll help you. Can you say I don't know. I'm just struggling with work? Yeah, right. Yeah, really, really hard. So you know, talking to another person, you know, perhaps with through Lionheart can really help people. Just take those next steps. And yeah, I feel like you're, you're moving forward, but it's something I definitely see a lot of, and it came about, actually, through the podcast, I think I got to like, podcast episode 25. And, and I think half of the people I'd interviewed said, Yeah, I've got dyslexia. All right, you know, you're a diverse challenge, really. And that's what started me on my journey to thinking right, is it me? The way that I do things, so but, you know, through other people talking about it, gave me the, you know, the motivation, and encouragement. Yeah, of course.

Davina Goodchild:

And that's it. If you see other people comfortable talking about it, then it makes you more comfortable talking about it. That's That's what our ambassadors are about, doesn't matter what kind of Ambassador they are, whether they're about mental health or about APC, or, you know, if we have ambassadors in the future, talking about neurodiversity, that, that's what they're for, is so that people can say, oh, yeah, it is alright, to talk about it. Nothing terrible is gonna happen to me. And all I'm gonna get probably is a lot of support. I mean, it's like you said, right, at the start of the conversation, you said something about the people. And that's it, isn't it? The people in the industry, you work in our people, people? They really are, we have to be to do the job, don't you? Cuz that's what you spend your time doing? is talking to people? So yeah, that's, that's what it's all about. That's what the ambassadors are about. That's what Lionheart is all about. It's what you're all about. Yeah,

Marion Ellis:

I just don't make it as a final one. I just talk on this podcast be so I've got someone to talk to you. I'm only survived. Just that last point about people. Can I ask you about, you know, we've talked about the people that work in the in Lionheart as a, as an organisation as a business. You've got to almost sort of live your values, haven't you as a, as a business owner? You know, yeah, promoting Well, being mental health and looking after yourself. Those things, you know, how? How do you find that? In bringing that into your, into your business? Because sometimes I see on LinkedIn or social media, I think you all had an away day. How do you bring that in? Because I know there are other surveying businesses out there who'll be thinking, Well, how do I do this? You know, yes, we can have a webinar on mental health. But how do we be? Well, you know, do well being because your business, you have to do that. Practice what you preach, right?

Davina Goodchild:

You've got to believe it. That's the first key, you got to actually believe it. You can't just say it, you can't just, you know, come up with a set of values that you just think up and then that's it. You've got your values? No, no, no, you've got to actually believe it. And the way we did it was we, it was the staff team got together, we were facilitated to choose our values together. So we chose our values, we've got four. And they are absolutely integral to absolutely everything we do. So every decision we make every supervision we have, every conversation about strategy we have every board meeting, they get talked about, you know, they're they're sort of woven through the organisation. And hopefully every member of staff knows them off by heart where they do I know they do, and we just, that's how you do it. You've got to, I'd say the thing is, you've got to believe in them. You've got to actually own them yourself. And, yeah, they're just they're so important to us. Our values that can't imagine Lionheart without them really. And they are they describe our culture and how we want it to be but they're also reflection So they're sort of an aspiration as well as a reflection at the same time that sounds a bit wishy washy, but you know what I mean? It's like they, they're integral to who we are.

Marion Ellis:

And that's the thing. You know, we can have, you know, company values. Yeah. And you just think, oh, it's marketing. Yeah, whatever. But when you all come together to make the plan happen, it gives you that sort of that Northstar, that reason for doing it. Absolutely. You're accountable to each other. And I tend to when something goes wrong, it's because there's something somewhere that is not aligned with you

Davina Goodchild:

yes, if it does not feel right, look at your values and think Well, which one of these is it not, is not working? Or is it not? Is it not aligning to and usually you can figure it out what's, you know what we're doing wrong here? Oh, ah, yeah, we're not being professional or we're not, you know, we're not being compassionate or whatever. Whatever your values are, you know? Yeah, yeah, we weren't yesterday, we will do an axe throwing. And if you've ever done it was amazing. It was I was rubbish. And it didn't really matter if you're rubbish was great. Didn't matter because it was just such good laugh throwing an axe. It didn't matter.

Marion Ellis:

Come across like an away day with axes. I've done one with horses. Which is quite, quite interesting. And then all the usual you know, make something else get your marshmallows. Yeah. But yeah, axes is a new one to me.

Davina Goodchild:

I'd recommend it. I would.

Marion Ellis:

It's been really lovely to catch up with you and get to know you and I know people listening will have we've got a lot from our conversation. So thank you so much.

Davina Goodchild:

Thanks for inviting me. It's been lovely and far less painful than I thought. I thought, Oh, God, I haven't revised.

Marion Ellis:

Take care, Davina. Thank you. So thanks for listening. I hope you found this podcast really helpful. If he wants to take a look at the Lionheart website. You'll find all the details in the show notes but the website is lionheart.org.uk and I hope it's helpful and I look forward to seeing you next time.

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