AkzoNobel hosts annual wellbeing festival for staff

AkzonobelPaints and performance coatings business AkzoNobel has hosted its second annual two-week free wellness festival, for its nearly 2,000 UK and Ireland employees.

Wellfest, which ended last Friday and was organised by staff, began during Mental Health Awareness Week and included virtual and in-person wellness events and workshops aimed at improving the health and happiness of the AkzoNobel workforce.

There were 60 different events hosted in festival tents that pertained to different areas of wellness, such as personal growth, wellbeing, hobbies, HIIT exercise classes, yoga sessions, cocktail making, art classes, and in-person coffee and breakfast mornings.

Mental health advocate Josh Connolly and Almida de Val, who is an AkzoNobel employee and competed in the Beijing 2022 Olympics, gave talks to attendees, while Scottish comedian Susie McCabe performed, and Dulux creative director Marianne Shillingford gave a painting masterclass.

Milly Hutchinson, head of communications and public affairs, UK and Ireland at AkzoNobel, said: “After a really successful first year of Wellfest, we were keen to bring it back for 2022, and it has proved just as well-received this time around. We were pleased to see a strong turnout for each event, allowing colleagues to reconnect and have open and honest conversations after a tumultuous few years of working apart. Our face-to-face events have also been a great way to reintroduce working in the office and other locations.”

Lianne Piper-Elsey, senior national account manager and lead planner of the festival, added: “Seeing the events come together and watching how much people took from them was so rewarding. Wellfest is such a great way to not only acknowledge and celebrate our colleagues, which is really important at AkzoNobel, but also make sure they feel supported. I would encourage other companies, looking for ways to engage their teams, to consider an event like this… it will show your employees in a very practical way how much you truly care about their wellbeing.”