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Dorset Chamber hosts leaders for second resilience event

A panel of high-profile business leaders will share advice on remaining resilient during the toughest of times at Dorset Chamber’s latest GU6 event.

GU6 is a peer support network which was set up by the Chamber to provide a confidential environment for business leaders to share the stresses and strains of running a business.

GU6 stands for Got your 6, the term used by WW2 fighter pilots who used a six o’clock flying formation to protect each other’s backs.

The chamber held its inaugural GU6 event last November at AFC Bournemouth.

The second – Supporting Business Leader Resilience – will feature nightclub owner and well-known mental health ambassador Ty Temel, Andy Coleman of Modern Listings and Mai Thai, Andrew Rumsey, of Portland Leonard Curtis, Lee Groombridge NLP practitioner and author of Get Resilience – Let’s Do It and Gareth Sherwood of the YMCA, all recounting their experiences and sharing how they have overcome serious hurdles in their resilience journey.
Latest employee figures from the HSE show there were nearly half a million new cases of work-related stress, anxiety or depression in 2020/21.

Increased workload, changes in the workplace and lack of support are cited as the main causes. More difficult to ascertain is the direct impact on business leaders, however it can be assumed they are equally affected.

Ian Girling, Dorset Chamber chief executive, said: “Stress at work continues to be a major issue. But one area that continues to be overlooked is the mental health of business owners and senior managers who carry the weight of their companies, as well as teams on their shoulders. There is no panic button for the boss, and no one usually asks how they are doing.

“As part of our health and wellbeing programme we recognise the unique pressure our business leaders are under and we have created our peer support network to help them.

“The success of our first GU6 event shows there is an appetite for a forum where people can open up and discuss their mental health in a safe environment.”

Ian continued: “GU6 aims to normalise conversation around the mental pressures of running a business, encourage compassionate dialogue and develop strategies that lead to great resilience in our leaders. We believe that if those at the top of the organisation are in good shape, it gives the overall business and their workforces the best opportunity to thrive.”

Many of the GU6 ‘Champions’ – who are also Dorset Chamber members who are Mental Health First Aid trained – will also attend the event. Their training enables them to identify the signs and symptoms of stress in individuals and to support their fellow business leaders, as well as friends and family.
Supporting Business Leader Resilience takes place from 9am-11am on April 1, at Bournemouth University’s Fusion Building and is supported by sponsor Lester Aldridge and facilitated by Ouch Training and Dorset Mind.

Visit to sign up for the event and for more information about GU6.

Paul Appleby
Author: Paul Appleby