Five tips to Safeguard your Mental Wellbeing












This week’s GOFISH blog is brought to you by our David Baker Foundation Board Member, Emma Roberts

Five tips to safeguard your mental wellbeing

Although the lockdown is beginning to ease in some parts of the country with positive images of grandparents being able to hold their grandchildren for the first time in many weeks; in these unprecedented times, it’s sometimes hard to retain perspective. For some isolation has taken, and continues to, take its toll – it is more important than ever to safeguard our mental wellbeing.
There are five small things I’ve tried to adopt during these times that I believe have helped me to feel more positive and get the most out of this period of uncertainty:

– STAY ACTIVE – maintaining a healthy lifestyle, with a proper diet, sleep and exercise is not only great for your physical health but by setting yourself small challenges and achieving them can be a valuable boost for your mental wellbeing. Find free activities that you enjoy such as walking around your local area, taking in the sights and make them part of your daily life. It’s a lot easier to be active when you enjoy it and this all goes to raising your self-esteem.
– STAY CONNECTED – maintaining those positive social relationships, no matter the medium, are important. They provide emotional support when you need it the most, allowing you to support others too. They build a sense of belonging and give the opportunity to share experiences, so take time out each day to reach out to your family and friends – a simple “how are you?” can mean the world to someone.
– BE MINDFUL – paying attention to the present moment – including your thoughts, feelings, body, and the world, otherwise known as mindfulness, is important to a person’s mental wellbeing. By taking stock of what is around you and focussing on the little “wins”, practicing mindfulness can help you understand yourself better and get more out of life. It can positively change the way you feel about situations and how you overcome challenges. There are a number of activities that you can undertake to be mindful – see for hints and tips.
– KEEP LEARNING – even if you feel you don’t have enough time, there are plenty of ways to bring learning into your day. From learning to cook something new or working on a DIY project to rekindling the love you had for a past hobby. Similarly, to keeping active, find activities that you enjoy and bring them into your life. Helping you build a sense of purpose – intellectual stimulation does wonders.
– BE KIND – kindness and the power of giving, no matter how little, goes a long way. By creating positive feelings and a sense of reward; small acts of kindness towards other people, or larger ones like volunteering in the community are invaluable.
How do you keep your mental wellbeing? Share your tips and tricks with us.

For more information on how to safeguard your mental health visit Mind:

5 Things to Remember when Speaking to a Customer












Eye contact – You must always remember to maintain eye contact with customers to show you are engaged in the conversation.
Listen – When selling to a customer, it is crucial that you listen to what they are asking for. Let the customer do the talking as much as possible!
Knowledge – Ensure you have the best knowledge of your products as possible. If you have made your product yourself then this shouldn’t be an issue, but always make sure you can answer any questions the customer may have.
Body language – Your body language can be the difference between a customer who wants to buy and one who doesn’t. Make sure to have open body language with no folded arms or slouching, but most importantly make sure you smile!
Confidence – This is your product, be proud and confident in what you are selling! If the customer buys into you as a person, you will make sales!

Being a Toastmaster













In these unprecedented times, it’s important to look on the bright side of things. We have been in touch with Ian who made us understand that there are many jobs people don’t even consider when searching for a new career path such as a Toastmaster. Ian has shared some information about his role as well as some of his experiences. Every job brings a lot of new skills and experiences- diversity of things you might have to undertake! Have a look at what Ian had to say:

My name is Ian Pugh, and if you have been to any of the Gofish presentation nights you will have seen me standing in the red tail coat officiating over the proceedings. But have you ever wondered if that is all Toastmasters do?

Toastmaster do not just make announcements. They are experts in procedure and etiquette for each and every occasion. My role is to control any function from start to finish. Be it a cocktail party, a business function, a Civic Event, a Show or one of the biggest days of your life, your Wedding. The Toastmaster is there to choreograph and then run the day through to its successful conclusion. Toastmasters are the “Go to” person as they stand there in their Red Tail Coat that was first worn by one of the great toastmasters of the late 19th and early 20th Century, William Knightsmith. It is a typically British tradition and will add a dignity and control to any event.

Well, that’s the advert taken care of, so let me tell you of an occasion when, despite my best efforts, things did not go exactly to plan.

Weddings are the most joyous events, but also the most emotional. One still has me wake in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. And it started two days before the big event. In one of the many meetings and telephone calls the bride will make with the Toastmaster she told that firstly they were providing a “free bar”. To any organiser this is not great news as many will drink more than they should. The most common results are rowdiness for a few and a general reluctance by the many to be moved for photos, cake cuttings, first dances etc. They just want to chill out. This is not a major problem for any skilled organiser so to be made aware was good warning. However, the second piece of information sent a shiver of fear down my spine.

The Brides mother and father had parted two weeks before!

I could say this was not the best news I had ever received, but I had hopes that they would remain dignified for their daughters sake, even though there was a free bar! Well come the big day, I arrived very early, as usual to welcome all of the guests, who started to arrive at about 1 O’clock. The first to arrive was the bride’s mother, elegantly dressed and unescorted. Ten minutes after the father of the bride arrived suited and booted, with his new girlfriend! To say the atmosphere was tense, would have been the understatement of the year. At 1.30 the Registrars arrived ready to interview the Bride and Groom. One hour later I was leading the Bridal Party into the wedding ceremony. 30 minutes later I opened the doors to

receive the latest married couple. The guests then filed out of the celebration room and, with an hour to go before the Wedding Breakfast, the newly married couple went to receive their guests. The bride first went to see her mother, and of course

there were hugs and tears of joy. The bride then moved to greet her father, who then hugged her with a kiss as any father would. She then moved to shake hands with his girlfriend, who leaned forward to greet her with a kiss on the cheek. The Bride was taken aback and moved just very slightly backwards causing the girlfriend to overstretch, when — “Splash” — some of her red wine was spilt over the pristine white bridal gown.

There came a moment of total silence in the room when all conversation stopped. Without hesitation, I took hold of the brides hand and marched her towards the ladies toilets, stopping momentarily to pick up a bottle of white wine and two glasses. Now to this day, I am still not sure why I picked up two glasses? Maybe out of habit as you are always presenting the married couple with glasses of wine for toasts and cake cutting etc. etc. We then marched into the toilets and I told her to go into one of the cubicles, remove the dress and pass it out to me. I hadn’t quite worked out how she was going to remove the dress on her own, but that was the least of my problems. Fortunately, at this moment one of the bridesmaids arrived and assisted. She passed the dress to me and I held the stained area over one of the wash basins and poured about half a bottle of white wine over the mark. I the rinsed it through with cold water until only the slightest shadow of the accident remained. It was then dried over a hot air hand dryer and passed back to the waiting bridesmaid. When the bride came out you could see that the stain was now hidden in one of the folds of the dress. If you hadn’t known it was there you would never have seen it. When the bride left the room to be welcomed back by her guests, I realised that I still had half a bottle of wine and two glasses, so I filled them both and passed one to the bridesmaid and we both simultaneously breathed a sigh of relief. It was at this point that she posed this question to me,

“What would you have done had it not been me entering the toilet but the bridegroom, only to find his new wife already stripped out of her wedding dress down to her underwear while you stood there with a bottle of white wine and two glasses?”

I still have nightmares over that!

COVID-19, Is it all bad?














We have recently been in touch with Jack, one of our GOFISH students who has been involved with the programme in the past. Since leaving college, Jack has been working to save up for what he always wanted to do; Travelling!

Due to COVID-19, Jack had to unwillingly shorten his travels in Australia and reflected on what has been going on in the world. He has shared the following thoughts with us:

“COVID-19, is it all bad?”

Yes and No, it is of course a very catastrophic disaster that we did not see coming which is having a huge impact on everybody’s lives all around the world. However, we need to see some of the good things that are occurring because of the pandemic:

That is nature!

The human species and their daily activities have been put on hold due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and this has meant that a lot of daily leisure activities and industrial operations have been put on pause. This has already resulted in a CO2 and other harmful gases drop being released into the atmosphere which was slowly killing the planet and contributing to long term problems of Global Warming. Pollution levels all around the world have been seen to be at their all time lowest because of the event at hand. Isn’t this a good thing?

Animals are getting their chance to take back what we have taken away from them. The human race is one of the most advanced species when it comes to using resources from the earth to create things like buildings and technology which has unfortunately led to us taking over most of the world and the natural areas that once belonged to animals. Dolphins in the Italian rivers, deer’s in Chinese gardens! People and animals can live in tranquillity if we just change our ways slightly which has been proven exceptionally well by this lockdown. Not saying this is the solution, but it’s a start.

The outbreak is not a good thing and it will affect billions around the world but look, nature is thriving and that is a positive and can really lift the mood of some people because at the end of the day there is nothing more beautiful than nature.

It’s very saddening that it takes a disaster like this for us to notice and realise that we are doing things wrong but hopefully we will see the other side when everything starts to improve!’