Mental Health Awareness at White Feather


At White Feather, the health and wellbeing of our staff and customers is of huge importance to us all. The company was founded as a form of therapy for Founder and CEO Holly Buckingham following the passing of her husband. Holly explains why this is a topic so close to her heart, and why it’s become core to the ethos at the heart of the business…

“When I lost my husband, Luke, back in 2015, I knew I had a choice, get back to the daily grind and just survive or, change things up and focus my efforts on making positive choices. Luke was such a positive person, one of his favourite sayings was ‘control the controllables,’ I couldn’t control what happened to him, but I could control the decisions I made following his passing.

Starting the business was a fantastic focus for me, and my ambition to create something special kept me going through some of the toughest times. Luke passed away in October 2015, and by July 2016 I had left my secure job at the local College. I went on to embark on my mission to build a coffee company which focussed on excellent quality, locally sourced produce, a customer and employee experience like no other, and building a business with whole lot of heart at the centre of it. I really wanted the White Feather experience to feel like a friendly, reassuring arm around every customer and employee who walked through the door.

Mental Health Awareness week provides us with a great reminder to assess what we’re doing as a business, and ensure that we’re doing our best to promote these opportunities.  So, here’s a run down on some of the things that we do as a business to look after the mental well being of our staff and customers;

  • We now have qualified Level 3 Mental Health First Aiders on each site and at HQ. The course itself has sparked all sorts of ideas which we’re looking forward to implementing in the coming months.
  • We’ve introduced “Time to Talk” sessions on site, providing a space and time for staff to speak confidential to one of our Mental Health First Aiders.
  • We now have a “mood O-meter” on display in every location and encourage staff to identify where they are on the mood O-meter at the beginning of their shift. This encourages our teams to chat more openly about their current mood and anything impacting it – in either a positive, or not so positive way. Most importantly though – it’s not compulsory.
  • A healthy work/life balance is something that I have always tried to enforce across the board. I’ve been in jobs where this isn’t the case and learnt the negative impact of that culture. I want staff to be fully committed to the task in hand and the White Feather ethos when they are at work, but it’s vitally important to me that work gets left at work!

Doing our bit to look after those around us is more important now than it has ever been:

  • One in four people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England. 
  • One in six people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England. 
  • The overall number of people reporting mental health problems has been going up in recent years. 
  • The amount of people with common mental health problems went up by 20% between 1993 to 2014, in both men and women.

The stats are staggering, and we’re just one small business trying to make a positive impact on those we engage with but, in time, we hope to cast that net further afield and get others thinking about choices that they can make to help support the mental health of those around them as well as their own mental health.”

Mental Health Awareness Week this year falls on the week commencing 13th May. The theme for the week, set by the Mental Health Foundation, is “Movement: moving for our mental health.” This year, we want you to move your way by finding something that moves your body and mind. 


We have challenged ourselves and our staff to move for their mental health and wellbeing during this week, we want to challenge you to do the same. No matter how big or small. Check out the link to Mental Health UK for more information and ideas on how you can move for your mental health and why it can be so beneficial!

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 – Mental Health UK (

We’ll be posting regularly about mental health awareness on our social media platforms throughout the month of May, make sure you comment and let us know what your doing to move for your mental health.