We’ve always been a close-knit team in MII, and we’ve put in place many initiatives throughout the years to keep spirits up, such as Motivation Mondays, weekly happiness quotes and more. With everything we’ve been faced with recently as a result of Covid-19, we’ve been doubling up on our happiness efforts this year with initiatives such as the I Am Here mental health programme.

Our latest team wellness initiative was born when we returned to the office from lockdown last month, and saw that the office’s garden was sorely in need of some love. So we decided to do it up, using all the new gardening skills we’d been building up during lockdown. The idea was to create a space for staff to enjoy but also nuture and be proud of. Given the instant success of the I Am Here initiative with our team, I thought it would be a great idea to have somewhere to take five and step away from the busyness of emails.

We’re all passionate about sustainability in MII and wanted to create a space to grow our own vegetables and lend the bees a helping hand. We bought hanging baskets and some bee bombs, and have planted some vegetables in our raised beds to have with our lunch.

The project has had many stages, from cleaning to building, but everything that is in our garden has been made and planted by us and it is such a great achievement seeing it all come together. After only a few weeks the difference is striking!

If we’re having a busy day, we can pop out to water the plants or just have a cup of tea! The idea isn’t that we just finish the project and forget about it, but actually continue to look after it. Gardening is good for the soul, whether you have green fingers or not and it is so important to switch off sometimes and get some fresh air.  We have all been reminded that it’s important to take care of ourselves, especially now in this – dare I say it – unprecedented time.

Our garden has become a little haven to retreat to when everything gets a bit much. And it brings a smile to all our faces when we walk into the office each morning!