I work as the Global Health and Wellness Programme Manager for Twinings. I have had a ‘squiggly’ career in that I have worked in a variety of different industries over the years, including fashion, luxury travel, events and law – not becoming a vet as I had intended when I was choosing my GCSEs at Priors Field many years ago. My role at Twinings has evolved over the five years, and I have found an industry that fits with my interests. It has subsequently allowed me to create a new role that incorporates travel, creativity, growth mindset concepts and career development.
When I first joined, I was initially asked to set up a “Herbal Mastery Programme” in 2017, which has developed over the years to a ‘Global Health and Wellness programme’ as its popularity grew. Our aim has been to educate and inspire our employees with holistic wellbeing both from an employee focus and within marketing, innovation, and new product development.
Recently, there has been a huge cultural shift in how we view our own health and lifestyle choices. Specifically, with gut health, mental wellbeing, immunity, sleep, stress, detox, women’s and men’s health. I have a team of in-house and external expert consultants within the field of herbal medicine, nutrition, meditation, food and drink trends, Ayurveda, to name a few! We create a tailored programme for each of our markets and it can be anything from an educational workshop with our experts, herb walks, festivals, bitesize learning to brainstorming new product ideas, based on the latest trend reports. We have a lot of fun trying to get people to “think outside of the box” for innovation and creative thinking within the health and wellness space. Essentially, the team is seen as an educational hub within the company.
Since the pandemic, our whole programme changed overnight due to travel restrictions, so we found ourselves in unchartered waters and having to learn, very quickly, how to run engaging workshops digitally, whilst trying to avoid ‘zoom-fatigue'. On a positive note, it also brought people together from across our global team more regularly, who usually would only meet once a year to collaborate. Unsurprisingly, Immunity was one of our most requested topics along with sleep last year. I think the pandemic has been a very humbling experience and taught us all to be more empathetic to others.
Nicola Ross (OG 1995-2000)