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Podcast Mini Series: Episode Two – Managing the Mental Health of Remote Teams

In this episode we talk to Andy Gibson, Founder and Head Gardener of MindApples. Andy is a leading authority in mental health and has worked with a wide range of leaders and organisations to help people work smarter and more sustainably. In this episode he talks about what leaders must consider when managing the mental health of remote teams, how they can support their colleagues and how to spot signals and sentiment shifts. Andy also offers valuable advice about personal resilience, ever mindful of the changes that stress can reveal.

Andy Gibson

Andy Gibson is an award-winning entrepreneur and author who specialises in helping people make the most of their minds. He is the founder and Head Gardener of Mindapples, the campaign he started in 2008 in response to the lack of attention being given by policymakers and campaigners to public mental health. Mindapples has since gone on to reach hundreds of thousands of people around the world with positive messages about mental health and wellbeing.

Before that, he co-founded the influential social web start-up School of Everything in 2006, which won several awards for its innovative work connecting independent learners with teachers in their local areas. He also advises large and small organisations on innovation and performance through his consultancy, Sociability Ltd.

Andy writes books and speaks at conferences about mental health and business performance. His last book, A Mind for Business (Pearson, 2015) was WHSmith’s Business Book of the Month in March 2015, based on his work on Mindapples’ business training programmes, which are now used by many major multinational businesses to help their staff work smarter and more sustainably. His latest book, The Mind Manual, is out now published by Hamlyn Press, and is also based on a decade of work advising the public on mental health and wellbeing. His previous written works include Social by Social, a practical guide to using social media for social good, and various policy papers and thought leadership pieces about social innovation and digital transformation.

Andy has worked with some of the biggest brands in global business to help them get the best from their staff, including Tesco, NewsCorp, L’Oreal, Gowling, Lendlease, Accenture, the Wellcome Trust, the Nature Conservancy, the NSPCC, MSF, Save the Children and most of the world’s top investment banks. He holds degrees in history and psychology, and has advised the UK Government on health promotion, supported many entrepreneurs to launch and grow their ventures, and speaks internationally about business innovation and social change. He’s also a former Trustee of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Wired magazine once named him the 78th most influential person in UK technology – although they changed their minds again the following year.

He lives in London but writes in Weymouth.

In addition to offering advice in the podcast, Andy has kindly given us permission to share some of his resources and below is a graphic on resiliency which you may wish to share with your teams… all we ask is that you kindly credit MindApples.

You can follow Andy on Twitter @gandy

Podcast Mini Series – Episode Two Transcript

Julia: Hello, my name is Julia Streets, and welcome to DiverCity Podcast, talking about diversity and inclusion in financial services.

We’re taking a break from our usual schedule to curate and create a mini series designed to help our listeners during these challenging times. Where better to look than to some of our previous guests, experts in their own fields. You may remember our guest Andy Gibson, Head Gardener of Mindapples, from our previous episodes where we talked about cognitive diversity and mental health.

Andy, welcome back, it’s wonderful to speak to you today, we’re having a chat over zoom, thank you for joining us.

Andy: Thanks very much for having me back.

Julia: On the podcast, we talk about the future of work, and we consider the role of effects for working models, and also talking about the importance of managing employee mental health. And of course right now, we face a reality to some degree planned, to some degree imposed, where all three combine.

I just want to mention that aside from the podcast, I’m also the founder and CEO of a business development marketing communications consultancy called Street Consulting. 13 years ago when I set up the business, I did it as an entirely virtual business model, so all our consultants work from home. 

One of the areas where I pay most attention generally, but most particularly now more than ever before is on the topic of mental health. Andy, many managers will be managing remote teams for the first time, and I’d love to really explore with you what people should be thinking about. Why don’t we start with telling us what you’re focused on at Mindapples, and for the benefit of the audience, just remind us what Mindapples does?

Andy: Thanks Julia. It’s quite a busy time for us as you can imagine. I think for a lot of us, we’re just running at full pelt, but particularly so because what Mindapples does, we are at our core a public health organisation. We have two sides to our business, we’re a social business which does charitable and commercial work, and my time has been divided really between the two sides trying, on the commercial side, to be of use to our clients and of course to try and make sure that my team is safe and that we’re still able to operate. We’ve been doing a lot of work reaching out to clients and just trying to make useful offers and providing webinars mainly, because a lot of people have been sent home, and we’re trying to keep everybody connected. We’ve been doing a lot of webinar programmes on productivity and resilience, and changing habits, those kinds of themes.

On the charitable side, trying to think how we can be of use in this time of crisis, because we don’t want to be a health organisation that just sits on our hands, or worries about ourselves, we’re supposed to be outward facing and looking at how we can support people. It’s a particular challenge for us, because a lot of the charitable work we’ve done in the last year has been in schools, and of course now that schools are closed, we’re trying to figure out how we can still support teachers, parents, children who haven’t got that support structure, which is quite difficult.

We are also talking to a lot of people, particularly in London, about how we can support frontline health workers. There’s a lot going on, but I suppose we’ve been finding it’s quite good to be feeling like working in public mental health trying to help everybody to manage their minds, trying to increase our knowledge and awareness about how we can maintain good health and wellbeing in the population; it feels very relevant, it feels like we’ve got into things that are useful and we have something to offer, which has been very good for my mind over the last couple of weeks.

Julia: I think contributions like that are more welcome than ever before, because when you think about it, there’s a normal working state, we’re all watching the news, we’re all hearing the updates, our home working lives have shifted. I’ve done more conference calls recently with technologists with children on their knees, for example, clients with children running around. Actually, that’s created additional pressure, it reveals itself in different ways, whether that’s anxiety or stress, actually some people thrive in those environments as well.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the advice you’d give to individuals to manage their emotional and day-to-day reactions to what’s happening in these current times?

Andy: Obviously, it’s different pressures for different people. It’s going to be quite personal to everybody. Some of our clients are just trying to figure out how to support their workforce, when working from home, others are not sure if they’re going to be able to keep trading. So it’s a pretty mixed bag.

To give some general thoughts on what we can do to manage our minds in the face of all this, I suppose one thing to bear in mind is that a lot of us are feeling quite afraid at the moment, and my feeling on fear is that it is actually intended to be helpful. That fear loop is designed to keep us safe, and a lot of the time, we talk about it as if it’s getting in the way, because life isn’t generally very dangerous in the Western developed world at least. But at the moment, we do actually have some things that are legitimately frightening for us. And so a lot of it is about trying to identify when that fear response is helping.

I’ve certainly found that alertness, that feeling of attention to what might possibly be going wrong in the future, trying to get ahead of the curve, anticipate what might be happening, is really useful. The trick is to try and distinguish when the fear is actionable, when you’re able to do something on the basis of it, or if it’s simply adding to the feeling of powerlessness. A lot of the things I’ve been putting my attention on have helped me.

Over the last 10 days my wife and I both have been experiencing something that we think is probably the virus, but obviously we don’t know. It’s been helpful to look at symptoms and look at following it all through, and know how I can look after myself, but then there were points where I found myself just looking at stories of people who are very ill and feeling powerless and feeling afraid. It’s about noticing when that fear response is kicking in and becoming destructive rather than when it’s being helpful.

That’ll be one thing, I’d say. A second thing is to know the relationship between your thoughts and your feelings to notice that. There’s nothing particularly wrong with feeling bad, feeling fearful, feeling angry, it’s simply that what it’s doing is filtering your attention to notice problems and threats, things that you need to do something about, which is really useful, but it’s worth just remembering that a positive state of mind helps you to notice possibilities, opportunities, things to explore.

If you spend a lot of time in that state of feeling fearful, feeling threatened, feeling stressed, then it can make the whole world seem threatening and stressful. It can be quite good to just notice where the feedback loops is coming in if your emotional state is affecting your perception, filtering the world, so that you’re missing things I suppose; that’s a good point to notice is when there’s that looping effect. For me, it’s a bit about trying to acknowledge that I’m afraid and that I’m angry about things, and that I have good days and bad days, and to just bear in mind that what my mind is noticing is not the full picture. That I can’t completely trust everything that I think. And that distancing can be really helpful for just getting a bit of a gap.

My third piece of advice is that a lot of what’s helped me is focusing on what I can do rather than what I can’t. When we get stressed particularly or start to panic, we get blinded to our resources, our assets, the people who might help us, the skills that we have to call on, and that can make problems feel even more unmanageable. That spiralling effect of forgetting our resources, missing out on things that might actually be good solutions, can make things even worse.

I’ve found it very helpful to try and look outward and say okay, never whether I’m okay right now, what can I do that is of use? What skills do I have? What assets could I call on, how can I be of service to other people? That’s partly just a good thing for us all to do at the moment, but it’s also, I’ve found, a very good way re-orientating my mental focus onto assets and possibilities rather than just looking at threats all the time, because otherwise, I think I would’ve been and have been at various points, felt quite overwhelmed by it all. It’ll be different for everyone, I offer those three things to think about, but if you find yourself worrying about whether you’re doing all those three things, then that’ll just add to your worries, so also be kind to yourself.

Julia: That’s an interesting reality. Some people are involved deeply in familial circumstances. All of a sudden, they’re operating with many many people around them, and some people are on their own, without their loved ones by their side, doing everything across remote platforms as well.

Interested in your thoughts, particularly for those who are on their own, is any particular recommendations you’d make to them about how to be very mindful of those three key points you were talking about, fear in relationships, thoughts and feelings, and then also focusing on what you can do.

Andy: Yes certainly isolation is a theme coming up. It’s completely different, as you say, for different people. Some people are finding they’re over-stimulated, they’re bombarded by too many people, either at home or virtually, and others are grateful for the connection. I think part of it is about realising that we don’t necessarily need people physically with us all the time. It’s about knowing that they’re there and connected and care. Finding ways to just remind yourself there are people who care, that there are people that you care about, just any kind of distant connections can still be really helpful.

Quite a good example of how that seems to work is that there’s been a lot of talk for years about whether the internet is disconnecting us, whether it’s getting in the way of our relationships, our spending time with each other, and of course there are elements of that, but the recent UK attitude survey found that people with the internet seemed to feel a lot less isolated and lonely than people without the internet. Even just being able to see stories online, follow forums, Twitter, hear people talking, that feeling of being part of a wider community, a wider tribe, can be really really helpful.

The thing that’s very difficult of course, is I don’t know whether they are isolated because they just can’t physically get to people or whether they’re feeling generally like no one is checking on them, and that can be a lot harder. I definitely think that that feeling of a higher cause, a broader community seems to be really helpful for people, that it’s not necessarily, always just about a one-to-one connection, but that feeling of belonging, that feeling that we’re all in this together, and from that perspective, I find the internet really helpful to a lot of people, particularly that I follow on Twitter are sharing really useful information, trying to be helpful. I’ve got a lot of WhatsApp groups and chat groups going on with people who are trying to share resources, trying to solve problems for each other. Anything you can do to get involved in a wider community.

I would say though that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be on your own, and actually, sometimes being able to say I’m going to use this opportunity to just think about what I want to do, things that I feel are me, and to resist the feeling that you’re missing out just because you’re not constantly logged on to a zoom call with everybody. Although there’s a lot of studies that suggest that loneliness and isolation are very bad for us, in fact, there are studies that link loneliness to similar health problems, to smoking, obesity and alcoholism. It really seems that we need people around us.

There was a study that suggested one of the counters to that is you can dilute some of those effects of feeling a bit lonely and isolated if you live in a way that’s really true to your values, to the things that you like and enjoy. A lot of it is about going in with trying to figure out what do you want to do if there’s no one around, then what can you do that you couldn’t do before? It’s not necessarily going to be easy for us to suddenly flip into this mode, it’s going to take some adjustment, so again, I’d say if you feel like you’re struggling with it, then don’t worry, a lot of it is just our minds and our routines catching up with the new reality and trying to figure out what does make us feel happy, what does allow us to feel resilient to keep going? We’re not going to have it all figured out on day one.

Julia: From a leadership perspective, one of the things I think about at the moment, I’m particularly active in, is the point you made actually within that, was about the importance of having people checking in. I’ve been talking to my team, one of the best practises of managing remote teams is actually the importance of checking in with people, as indeed you would do in an office environment as well, but particularly remotely, which is having a culture of checking in on each other, and then also communicating probably more than you actually would do.

As a leader of a business, I’ve been very actively checking in with people, and been very mindful actually,

which is interesting, what you just said there about behaviours is about different people’s personality types, and observing how personality types adapt and change under certain circumstances, for example now under increased stress as well. Let’s turn the conversation to leaders of businesses now running remote teams, having probably never done that before – I’d love to hear your thoughts and advice on what they should be paying attention to.

Andy: Yes. It’s interesting, isn’t it, this idea of different personalities responding in different ways. I think my wife joked last week that the introverts will all live. This is how it will divide now, the people who are good at staying in are now the model for everyone.

I think there’s something interesting in how to manage diverse groups of different personalities when you can’t see people, because I think a lot of this stuff is instinctive, and many leaders I know are instinctively just naturally quite good at these things, and haven’t necessarily unpicked it and thought how am I doing that and how can I do that over a different form?

One of the big problems we have is that it’s not that communication is 95% nonverbal. There’s various stats that get thrown around like that. Actually, it’s more about emotion that is nonverbal. The experiments that date back to Albert Mehrabian’s experiments in the 1970’s, and they weren’t looking at communication, they were looking at emotional transference. What they found is that actually how you feel about someone and how you assess how you think they’re feeling, whether you believe them, seems to be only about 7% down to the words, and the rest is tone of voice and body language, nonverbal cues.

That gets stripped away when you’re just looking at emails or text messages, and we need to almost artificially fill in the blanks, so it can lead to some quite clumsy conversations where people are trying to express emotion or inquire about people’s emotional states, but we haven’t quite got the language for it. The intention is good, because it’s trying to fill that gap that would otherwise be done by smiling at each other or saying hi or even dare I say handshakes. Remember those?

I think a couple of things I’d say about just trying to try to manage teams. One thing is that what I’ve been noticing is a desire to communicate for fear that if people are left to their own devices, that they’ll crumble. It’s not necessarily the case that people need constantly checking in, talking, reminding of things. I think a lot of the time what people need is clarity about what they need to do and when the next check-in is. And then to feel okay about disconnecting and getting on with things. I’ve sensed a lot of fatigue over the last week or two, partly due to people building new habits. Obviously it’s tiring to re-orientate your whole routine, but a lot of it is just people feeling always on. A number of people who feel like they’re just not simply working at home, but having to constantly stare at their computer, make sure they don’t miss a message beyond video all the time. It’s very full on, because it requires conscious attention to do that. It’s not that we just have the video on in the background and everybody’s just working around it.

I think a lot of it is about asynchronous communication. If you’re checking in with people, do it via WhatsApp, via messages, via Yammer or whatever tools you’ve got, and don’t be worried if someone doesn’t respond immediately, because we’re in danger of creating a culture, which is like email culture, but squared where everybody is sending messages and waiting to see whether someone replies within 10 seconds. So we’re constantly all wired into the network. Actually a lot of it is about being able to say I’m going dark for a few hours, don’t worry about me, I’m fine.

I think a lot of this is like the opportunity, the thing I like about working from home, which I’ve done a lot, is that I can do deep focused work. I can concentrate on things immersively for a few hours, and then resurface and start doing emails or attending to things. Having some kind of sensitivity to how do you check in with people in a way that doesn’t interrupt their focus or demand that they’re paying attention to the organisation rather than what they’re supposed to be doing. That would be my first instinct about it at the moment as I see the culture evolving.

Julia: That completely chimes with the feedback I’ve been having from talking to many, many people over the last sort of week/10 days, which is people being bombarded from multiple channels, it’s like it’s increased almost more. Just trying to help people carve out on just repeating and echoing completely what you said about how to manage that process as well.

It’s interesting isn’t it? Because when you’re spending time with employees, some people are naturally happy working remotely, and others simply struggle. I’m not a perfect leader, and if I reflect on the 13 years of running my company, we haven’t always got that right. One thing that really struck me particularly recently is the journey between somebody really doing very well, and actually struggling, struggling to perform, is remarkably short. We’ve had a couple of people who have just said actually, this isn’t the environment for me, it’s not the structure for me, and as surprised as I am that anybody would not want to work at Streets Consulting, it is obviously the right decision, but that’s something that I’m particularly paying attention to. The big question I’m asking my team at the moment, how will I know if you’re not doing well? Because I get it, I’m The Boss. You won’t want to talk to me about everything. But how will I know if you’re not doing well?

To have that kind of open conversation between me and the team that says “you now know I need to know, and I’m very intrigued to hear your response, which is yours to give and mine to take away. But once we’ve done that, we’ve essentially engaged in a very open contract if you like, which is it needs to be flagged, you now know to flag to me however you prefer to do that.” What I’ve found is actually that the response to that has been incredibly warming and encouraging, and it’s made people feel, I believe, that actually somebody’s really paying attention to how they’re doing. I’d love to get your response to that, because I’m maybe doing the wrong thing, and also thoughts on other key questions, on other things we should be particularly thinking about right now that we might not necessarily have done before.

Andy: I certainly don’t think you’re doing the wrong thing. Don’t worry, and it wouldn’t be for me to say so anyway, because I think it is about relationships. Most of what we know about management is that it’s not a simple one size fits all. It’s about whether there’s a good fit between the leader and their team. A lot of this is about people self-selecting in and out of roles and types of working that work for them, and that’s okay.

A lot of it I think is about trying to pick apart the ways we work because that’s what the business needs vs the ways we work because that’s what I as a leader instinctively end up wanting to do, and so trying to decide, we’re doing things in a culture because it helps the work rather than because everybody needs to be of the same mind or the same personality.

There are studies for example that suggest introverted leaders lead introverted teams well and vice versa. And so actually if you’ve got somebody who’s very extroverted and they’re managing a team of people who are quite introverted, it doesn’t work, but it’s not that there’s anything wrong with that leadership style, it’s just about how do you tailor it to suit the range of people that are working with you.

We talked a lot last time I was on the show about neuro-diversity, and a lot of it is about that sensitivity to trying to figure out how as a leader you can work in a way that suits the individuals in your team, which may be different for each person. It may be that what your job is, is to remember that person doesn’t like constantly being on video, that person prefers a bit more detail, that person likes to be praised, that person just likes to know they’ve got a target to hit. That stuff is the work, I think.

A lot of what I think you’re describing, I would call it psychological safety. It’s a theme that we push a lot when we do work with organisations to encourage and challenge managers to try and figure out how to make everybody feel safe, to feel however they want to feel and to express what they really think, which is important for a number of things, partly, it helps very much with identifying if people are struggling and getting support early. It also helps with things like creativity because if people feel free to share what they really think, you get a more wide-ranging and diverse set of ideas and lots of studies on the benefits of diversity and sort of multi-functional teams, people with different backgrounds, qualifications, for boosting creative thinking, you can only really harness the benefits of that diversity if you create a culture where it’s okay to be different, where it’s actually seen as a benefit that people have got different views to bring and different ideas.

I would say keep doing that, but also trying to figure out what else you can do to make people feel okay to share what’s really on their minds and talk about what’s going on for them, recognising that people may not want to, that’s part of safety as well is don’t pry. You don’t need to know whether people are feeling miserable today, you just need to know whether it’s going to affect things they have to do, their welfare.

I think a lot of it is about trying to figure out what you can do to help people feel that they can bring the whole of their mind to work. I think a lot of that rapid spiralling often comes from people feeling not only that they’re not happy, but that it’s not okay to feel unhappy. So therefore they shouldn’t be in the community or the organisation, they have to take themselves out, when in fact it might be fine for them to be unhappy. Maybe other people are unhappy and them talking to you about it might mean you could improve the way that the organisation works.

Julia: Also as a leadership perspective as well, which is if you talk to me about it, there are things I can invariably do to help. There are adjustments that can be made to, there are conversations that can be had, there are structures that can be put in place. So it is important to do that.

While you were talking, kind of an expression just comes to mind, but it’s easily bandied around, about emotional intelligence or EQ and empathetic leadership. Is that essentially what you’re driving at in terms of leadership qualities and muscles that need to be flexed now more than ever before?

Andy: Yes. There are different terms that become popular at different times, staff engagements had sort of its time in the sun and wellbeing had its go as well, and emotional intelligence is a classic one of that. We certainly talk about emotional intelligence in all of our training, and it’s a useful route in I think for a lot of people into this.

I suppose a couple of things I’d say about this, one thing is that sort of technical terminology that can be quite helpful is the distinction between empathising and mentalizing. Empathising with people is feeling a connection to their experiences, sensing what it might be like to be in their shoes, but it doesn’t necessarily explain their feelings. So feeling sad because someone is sad does not necessarily give you insight into why they’re sad. So little kids are quite empathetic, they get sad when you feel sad, but they have no idea why. They get excited because you’re excited, but they don’t know what they’re excited about. And then over the years, we learn to mentalize, which is to accurately interpret what’s going through someone’s mind, and relate that to their behaviour. That’s probably closer to what we think of as emotional intelligence.

The term I often use for it is not so much intelligence because people sometimes think it means a kind of innate brain power, but emotional literacy, I find quite a helpful term for it, because it’s a bit like learning to read. It’s about getting better at understanding why you do things, why the things that pass through your mind are there and how to make sense of them. Then from that, to be able to get a bit of better sense of why someone might be reacting the way that they are to try and understand the variances in people’s responses and interests and sensitivities.

It’s all slightly guesswork, it is about trying to fill in blanks and read between the lines. You have to hold it lightly and be prepared to be wrong. Certainly I think as we get better at being leaders and generally as people, when you spend more time in relationships, we start to learn, “okay that person’s angry with me, but it’s not me, it’s because of the call they were just on, and I just need to let them calm down”. And “oh, this person is actually upset because I’ve done something wrong and I need to adjust behaviour”. That can help to separate the noise from the really important signals of what actually needs to be actioned. Because otherwise we can end up obsessing about trying to fix things that actually, maybe what people needed was just to have a cup of tea, take a day out, sleep a bit better, and then the problem vanishes.

I think practising our skills of mentalization and our emotional literacy is a very good thing to be doing at the moment.

Julia: I can’t believe how time just disappears. I mean it’s incredible. We’ve been talking for nearly half an hour about this, and genuinely, I have a million other questions I would love to explore with you as well. I suppose we can bring it to a natural conclusion for now, and it won’t be the last time we talk about this, I’m sure. 

When you started out, you were talking about how you’re giving away to other people, right? So it’s the outreach of saying what can I do for you and what can I do for others? And then putting others before you, which I’m hearing more and more is of course one of the wonderful things that’s happening at the moment. Just to wrap this up at the end of the show, just your thoughts on positive behaviours and positive activities that give you great hope for optimism

Andy: It’s certainly been an interesting moment for seeing who steps up. We’re already seeing online, particularly, the kind of the stories emerging of employers that have responded by being generous and helpful and offering discounts to NHS workers and keeping all their staff safe, versus other employers who shall remain nameless who may not have perhaps risen to the challenge as much.

I think a lot of this is about noticing how many of these stories there are of people who of their own free will have said, “Well, actually I want to try and do the right thing. I want to try and keep people on payrolls. I want to try and keep paying sub-contractors.” Which of course I think is very important at the moment, because we’re still not quite sure if the support will be evenly distributed. So anything that people can do to keep those lines flowing seems to be very helpful.

Also I think the internet is a very interesting beast at the moment, because it gets a bit of a bad rep. A lot of time people are saying that the Twitter feedback loop and the kind of the hysteria on social media is causing a lot of problems. It depends where you look, and what I’ve found actually has been that the internet has been an incredibly useful source of knowledge, of fact-checking, of support, of stories, of people trying to encourage the positive behaviours that they want to see.

This is the first time we faced a global pandemic whilst having a really good internet connectivity. Of course it’s not everywhere, but certainly amongst the countries that are most affected at the moment, we have a lot more connectivity, and the capacity of research teams to share data. There are volunteering projects popping up of people with scientific skills taking on tasks for researchers who are working on vaccines and drug treatments. The speed with which possible options are being shared. There’s an open source ventilator project that’s coming in Oxford. There’s lots of people talking about donating masks. I’ve been witnessing all kinds of supply chains being set up for people who’ve got things that are needed, trying to get them to the place that they’re useful, and we wouldn’t have been able to do that 10 years ago or 20 years ago.

I think what we’re witnessing is a very different kind of immune response where because we are so connected together to share information and emotions as well, that we are as a collective human body responding in a very different way to this threat. We’ll see whether it leads to a radically different way of approaching epidemics or whether it simply just allows us to find that breakthrough that changes everything. I’m certainly feeling that the people that I’m following, the people that I see and talking to the clients that we have from the charities we are trying to support, there’s just millions and millions of really wonderful people all working flat out to try and keep us safe and solve this problem. It’s an amazing time to be alive, though of course, as the old Chinese curse goes, may we live in interesting times.

Julia: What a very positive way to end this episode in our special mini series. Andy, thank you so much, Head Gardener of Mindapples. It’s been wonderful to have you on the show. Thank you so much.

Andy: Thank you very much. It’s really nice to be here, and to also just reiterate what I was saying at the start, if there are any people listening to this who work for large charities, healthcare groups, public service, schools, education who need help and want to support particularly the health of their staff, wellbeing of people that they’re working with, do get in touch, drop us a line through the website,, and we will do our very best, to try and offer some support in the current crisis.

Julia: Andy, thank you. As always, to all our listeners on DiverCity Podcast, thank you for listening.

Kieron: This episode of the DiverCity Podcast was produced by me, Kieron Yates, on behalf of Julia Streets Productions. You can find out more about the guests on this week’s show on our website, Whilst you are there, you can also sign up to our newsletter for all our latest updates.

To be sure of catching all our future podcasts, subscribe to our feed on iTunes, or your favourite podcast app. And, if you’ve enjoyed this episode of DiverCity Podcast, remember to give us a rating or review. This all helps promote the show to a wider audience. Finally, our Twitter handle is @divercitypod. Thanks for listening.