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    A man with headphones rests his head on the back of a sofa with his eyes closed

    What welfare means to me

    Lillian is a Quality Assurance Officer at the IWF, having worked in our Hotline for 13 years, finding and assessing child sexual abuse images. She takes a lead in helping to support the welfare of others. Here’s Lillian’s view of what welfare means to her.

    People often assume that something bad must happen to you for your mental health to be compromised, but it can also be the small things that grind away at you over time, like a busy lifestyle, a dark dingy day, a hideous commute to the office, working conditions that are not fit for purpose and many people suffer with loneliness when working from home.

    This is why the IWF prides itself on providing an excellent welfare system to support staff wherever possible. Good mental health is of utmost importance when working for an organisation which deals with the subject matter of child sexual abuse material.

    There are many roles at the IWF, some people assess images and videos of children’s sexual abuse as part of their job and some work in other areas of the organisation, which means they are working from home or hybrid working; all roles present their own challenges and stresses.

    I joined the IWF Mental Health Working Group in the peak of Covid. We focus on promoting mental wellbeing and improving staff happiness.


    We take a sensitive approach, factoring in the different needs of all IWF employees.

    Every month I send out a welfare email to the whole organisation. I search for tips on managing mental health. Every email has a theme dependent on what’s going on at that time. It might be work-related, for example a hectic time when we are working towards meeting a target, or it could be down to external factors, like the winter blues.

    I spend a lot of time listening to Ted Talks looking for the right one which coincides with the mental health tips I want to give. Ted Talks are motivational and can be very thought-provoking.

    I also believe the benefits of meditation are boundless. There are so many different forms of meditation/mindfulness. While some are uplifting and active, others are centred around winding down and relaxing. Everybody is different and mood is transient, so one type of therapy does not suit all. I include links to a variety of wellness approaches from our wellness employee benefit platform, so staff can choose which method works for them.

    My welfare email may be as simple as providing a break and a distraction from the everyday, but the overall purpose is to give my colleagues a range of psychological tools that they can draw from, as and when they need them.

    Like our physical health, mental health requires maintenance. The truth about mental health is that it varies from one day to the next, and I’m proud to play my part supporting others at IWF.