The beginning

Ruth’s daughter Katharine, was recovering from anorexia and, having developed the skills needed to support her, Ruth decided that it was time to create a new business. A new business that served and supported others.

Whilst supporting Katharine back to wellness, Ruth discovered the things that made a big difference were very simple, yet not at everyone’s fingertips.

A key element was being in nature. Ruth saw how supportive the conversations outside had been for her and Katharine. From this the idea of Fresh Air Fridays began to grow. You can read more about Ruth’s story in her blog.

The concept of Fresh Air Fridays was developed and built into a programme, with sessions starting in South Wales. One of the first facilitators to join Ruth was Rose, who would soon become Fresh Air Fridays co-founder.

The name Fresh Air Fridays reflects our roots as well as our impact. All sessions take place outside, in green spaces all over the country, and are not limited to just being on Fridays. So now you can get that Friday feeling any day of the week. Find a session near you.

Ruth and Rose are very much on the journey with the facilitators and participants. They know what Fresh Air Fridays provides works, because they live it and are living their best lives.

The now

Ruth and Rose are co-creating a business that supports the mental and emotional wellbeing of people across the country.  They are doing this by building a community of facilitators to deliver the programme in businesses and communities across the country.

Beginning in South Wales in 2015, there are now a team of 12 facilitators running programmes across Wales and into southern England towards London.

Recent attendees of a Fresh Air Fridays business programme reported that, as a result of their participation, they were; 

  • happier at work
  • more relaxed
  • better able to communicate
  • more empowered
  • better able to cope when things don’t go as expected and
  • more comfortable with change in the workplace.

Find out how Fresh Air Fridays could benefit your business or organisation.

Below are real examples of just some of the transformations people experience as a direct result of their participation with the Fresh Air Fridays programmes (please note for privacy names have been changed).

The future

Our Purpose: to positively impact people’s wellbeing now and for future generations and influence wellbeing policy and practice.

Our Vision: Fresh Air Fridays is a well known and respected resource for people to access the skills, support and space they desire to support them in their own wellbeing.

Our Values: as an organisation Fresh Air Fridays values
*Community and connection
*Openness and honesty
*Acceptance and trust
*Freedom, choice and fun

Amber felt that she could not do her job. She was missing targets and felt inadequate. Her relationship with her manager was poor and she felt angry and defensive towards many of her colleagues. As Amber began to be aware of her self-talk she started to look after herself better. She saw that she had a choice in how she was and she began to chose to behave differently. Amber started to respond to people differently. By the time she had finished the programme, she described herself as buoyant. Amber enjoyed her job now and looked forward to coming into work.

Amber

Peter was very shy, a really nice guy but very quiet. He had a technical role in his company. When Peter came on one of our programmes he was blown away by hearing what other people shared about themselves and seeing how they often felt the way he did. It was very helpful for him to hear others express feelings and experiences that were similar to his own. By the end of the programme he felt much more part of the team and much more comfortable communicating with others.

Peter

David had been in his job a while and recently it had changed. He was very upset about it and was angry with everyone. He knew his rights and he was fighting for them. It appeared this was spilling over to all aspects of his life. David was cross with his neighbours and always worrying about parking. At the end of the Fresh Air Fridays programme his manager came up to the facilitator and said "I have no idea what you have done to him, but I used to avoid him and now he is a pleasure to work with. It has changed the atmosphere in the whole office." When we spoke to David he explained that he knew how to relax now and he had a plan moving forward. Everyone was much happier and it was providing the space and structure for David to find his own answers that achieved that.

David

Tammy had lost confidence when she and her husband divorced. What the 12 week programme gave her was the confidence to start really living her life again. She fully raised her game in work and applied for her first stand up comedy gig.

Tammy

Adele spent a lot of time mentally beating herself up. She was her own worst critic. She always strived to do her best but she rarely felt that her best was good enough. By becoming a member of Fresh Air Fridays and attending sessions regularly she found that she was able to be less hard on herself. Instead of asking whether things were right or wrong Adele began to ask herself "is this serving me or is this not serving me?" After a few months Adele became more relaxed, she was far happier in all she did, her relationships improved and she had more fun.

Adele

Tim worked hard at his business. Sometimes it was easier to work hard than be at home. His marriage was OK but not what it used to be and there was some stuff that he and his wife chose not to talk about. The space that he found by coming on our sessions enabled him to once again create great times with his wife, enabling them to rebuild the relationship they used to have.

Tim