Exchange Chambers receives Certificate of Recognition for its commitment to wellbeing at the Bar

May 17, 2018

Exchange Chambers has been awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the Bar Council for its commitment to wellbeing at the Bar.

Chambers’ recognition coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week 2018, where the focus is on tackling Britain’s stress “epidemic” after startling new statistics from the Mental Health Foundation showed that 74% of people have felt so stressed in the past year that they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.

Over the last six months, Exchange Chambers has been fully committed to making wellbeing a mainstream part of its culture. The Set plans to launch a range of wellbeing initiatives, the first of which has been a Chambers-wide survey to gain an insight into the general perception of wellbeing and mental health.

Following the survey, there has been an overwhelming show of support for the initiative. Barristers have been very positive about the increasingly supportive culture, particularly with respect to practice reviews and regular departmental meetings, as well as social events and activities.

Aside from the survey, Exchange Chambers has found its charity work has had an overwhelmingly positive effect. The frequency and diversity of fundraising events over the past 18 months has been a catalyst for camaraderie between barristers and staff.

Commenting on Chambers’ Certificate of Recognition, Chief Executive Tom Handley said:

“We are delighted to receive this Certificate of Recognition from the Bar Council.

“We want wellbeing to be intrinsic in everything we do, and we strive to promote a positive and supportive culture in Chambers.

“We hope that the variety of wellbeing initiatives we have in the pipeline will continue to encourage cohesiveness and camaraderie within Chambers.”

The Bar Council aims to tackle the stigma associated with mental health and encourage members of the profession, and those who support them to better understand and feel empowered to make healthy choices.

Congratulating Exchange Chambers on its Certificate of Recognition, the Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group said:

“Exchange Chambers provides a great example of a chambers that already does a lot to support its members’ wellbeing but hasn’t perhaps yet brought it all together as a formal ‘wellbeing’ policy or strategy. It is great that they are now doing this on the back of a very successful survey. We particularly liked chambers’ recognition that different activities support individual wellbeing and that it is important to offer as wide a range of activities as possible.”