A NEWPORT business has joined a leading campaign to support employees’ mental wellbeing.

Niche, a Newport based independent finance advisory firm, is the latest business to join Time to Change Wales’ network of employers who have pledged to support the mental wellbeing of their staff.

Niche’s compliance and HR director Tom Roberts said: “We will be signing the pledge as a commitment to our colleagues of the steps that we’re taking to ensure that employee mental wellbeing is at the forefront of our minds.

South Wales Argus:

Some of the staff at Niche's Newport office

“This has become increasingly more relevant as of late due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning that we have over 50 colleagues working from home, adapting to a new way of working and juggling childcare responsibilities.”

The company has already made mental health a focus as their management staff have taken mental health awareness training and their team of Employee Champions will go through the same training later this year.

Time to Change Wales is the first national campaign to end the stigma around mental health and employers are able to access a toolkit through an online account and sign the pledge to follow an action plan based on the core standards recommended by the Thriving at Work report that was released in 2017.

The company has its own internal scheme relating to mental health called Your Niche, and provides resources and online tips for managing mental health and working from home.


“We do a lot as a company to look after everyone’s mental wellbeing and our social events play a huge part in this. Earlier this year, we took 30+ colleagues bowling and laser tagging, and since the COVID-19 lockdown, we’ve been arranging virtual quizzes and happy hour hang-outs in our ‘virtual pub’ with many more activities planned in the coming weeks.”

Niche also have their Employee Champions available for colleagues to talk to and will be running regular ‘lunch and learn’ sessions on mental health and wellbeing as well as other topics.

Time to Change Wales’ programme manager Lowri Wyn Jones said: “Niche is an excellent example of an organisation that’s committed to ending mental health stigma and discrimination in the workplace. We have worked with Niche to develop a comprehensive action plan to sit at the heart of their pledge so that practical steps are taken to tackle stigma at every level of the organisation.”

Mental health problems are the leading cause of sickness absences in the workplace with one in six workers experiencing symptoms of depression, stress or anxiety. It is estimated that the cost of mental health problems in Wales is £7.2billion each year in loss of output, healthcare bills and social benefits.