Overwhelm and what to do about it


Dealing with overwhelm in the voluntary and community sector

Blog post by Vicky Scott, Head of Operations at Hackney CVS

Our jobs are to help others, yet when we are overwhelmed we cannot do that well. In order to do the important work that we do, we first have to look after ourselves.

Hackney CVS’s recent user survey showed, for the second year in a row, that staff wellbeing and fatigue was the greatest organisational concern. The consequences of rising energy and retail prices, benefit changes, Brexit, climate change and the hostile environment for refugees have had a huge impact on our work and can seem overwhelming.

We are doing more. And in a more pressured way. It’s caused by lack of funding (particularly long-term funding) and resources, the pressures of hybrid working and new technologies. Modern working makes us feel ‘always on’.

Hackney CVS wanted to respond directly to this. I am fascinated by how people can thrive and develop at work, and so I offered to run a ‘dealing with overwhelm’ workshop to look at practical ways to deal with the feeling of overwhelm and what we can do when we actually have too much on our plates. But this isn’t just about individuals looking after their own wellbeing and learning ways to cope. It is also about understanding the many ways that organisations and employers can and must help. An overwhelmed sector cannot effectively respond to the crises that we are facing.

A word of warning – at two hours long, the workshop can only be a taster session. The plan is that you leave with a set of science-based suggestions to support you and your organisation going forward. This practical plan will help you to reduce feelings of overwhelm, understand the real priorities of your work and how to properly look after your own wellbeing so you can be happier at work and therefore more effective. In the session, I will share templates for both you and your organisation to better embed wellbeing.


Dealing with overwhelm workshop

Tuesday 17 May, 10.30am to 12.30pm. Book here

This workshop is offered free of charge. But if attendees can afford it, we would invite them to donate to Hackney Giving, which distributes grants to grassroots community project in Hackney. Suggested donation £5.