New Wellbeing Hub In RAF Odiham
The NAAFI Fund recently supported RAF Odiham in Hampshire with £8,300 to create a new Wellbeing Hub, a day and night facility that offers classes for station personnel, expectant mothers and those returning to work post maternity leave.
The idea for the hub came about in January 2020, when Sqn Ldr Johnson Sgt Sasha White, Chair of a new Mental Wellbeing Committee at RAF Odiham realised there was no suitable on unit space to carry out mental wellbeing activities. The committee, which aims to improve mental health and resilience at the base, decided to create a new area that would encompass a yoga and mindfulness space and a dedicated place for new mothers to express and feed their babies.
Sgt Sasha White, RAF Odiham said: “Once we received the funding, the team emptied the room of old battered furniture, relocated the pool table to a very happy bunch of suppliers and gave the dartboard to some grateful MT drivers! They then set about decorating, which took much longer than expected as the deep red, oil resistant paint on the walls took 15 coats to cover! However, after four months of hard work, the results were worth it. We’ve created a lovely calming space that can be used for various sessions as well as being a much-needed facility for breastfeeding and expressing.”
The team will now work with the Mental health network, trained PTIs in pre and post natal training and the station yoga instructor to develop a timetable. The aim is for the hub to be used throughout the working day and evening offering classes for all station personnel and expectant mothers and those returning to work post maternity leave.
One of the new mums at RAF Odiham commented on how the new hub has helped her: “As a new mum returning to work after maternity leave, it was evident a dedicated space for me to express was lacking on station. Thanks to the NAAFI Fund, there is a space with a relaxing atmosphere that I can now use to express and take part in pre and post-natal fitness classes.”