Meet Hayley Richardson

Hayley works as an Executive Assistant, providing high-level administration support to Martin Hirst, our Head of Real Estate. She has been a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) since we started the programme in 2018 and shares her thoughts on this year’s theme and speaking out about mental health as well as a little about her day job.

What do you most enjoy about your role?

My role involves a lot of client contact and I really enjoy this aspect of my job. It is important that Martin’s clients feel they can liaise with me if he is not immediately available and I have really built lots of strong relationships with them.

What is your career highlight to date?

I have been incredibly lucky to have travelled to a number of countries all over the world throughout my career as a Legal Secretary. A particular highlight was attending a three-week long Arbitration Hearing in Singapore. I loved every moment!

What made you decide to become a MHFA?

In the past I have worked with people experiencing poor mental health and have seen first-hand the devastating effect this can have on a person and those people around them, both at work and at home. I decided to become an MHFA because I wanted to be part of a positive support network for my colleagues. I am passionate about reducing the stigma and negative associations attached to mental health issues.

What was your key takeaway from your MHFA experience?

My key takeaway is that if each of the appointed MHFA within Foot Anstey have helped just one person, it has been worth the time investment for the firm. A supportive firm culture encourages openness and conversation, both of which are hugely impactful and contribute to positive mental health.

How can we normalise conversations about mental health?

We can normalise conversations simply by talking about mental health and not avoiding these conversations.

Is getting out in nature important to your mental health?

Being outside in nature and just walking (I barely ever run!) is hugely beneficial to my own mental health. It’s a cliché but it’s true – it really does make you feel better!

What do you value about the culture at Foot Anstey?

I value the inclusivity of the culture at Foot Anstey and the onus the firm places on opinions and ideas of all employees, regardless of seniority.