Celebrating the Impact of our Voice Groups in 2023

Author information: Lily Veale , Senior Marketing Executive , Post information: , 6 min read ,
Related post categories: Culture ,

Our voice groups have been up and running for a while now, and have become a part of our cultural fabric. But we continue to learn and find new ways to drive meaningful change via our groups, including Wellbeing, Diversity and Inclusion, Climate and Sustainability, Social, and Community Action.

Since joining Torchbox back in January, I've been a member of our Wellbeing Voice Group, helping to push through new initiatives and ideas to support the wellbeing of my colleagues. Here's my recap of what we got up to this year, as well as an update from our other groups.


Our Wellbeing Voice group advocates for policies, practices, and initiatives that promote mental health and co-owner wellbeing to nurture a culture where everyone is supported, valued, and cared for.

We kick-started this year with Torchbox Treks, an initiative where we encourage one another to stay active during the winter months. This was a huge success; collectively, we clocked up a total of 1973 miles over 502 hours of activity throughout the month! Other initiatives include welcoming The Zen Project to both of our UK offices for Mental Health Awareness Week. We had mindfulness sessions on the Zen Bus and virtual sessions during the week to learn strategies and methods to manage stress and anxiety. We also promoted an opportunity during International Happiness at Work Week, to recognise and celebrate people whose small gestures made a big difference to our days at work. We also supported meaningful campaigns such as BrewMonday and Mental Health Awareness Day.

We took a significant step by commissioning a MIND Workplace Wellbeing Index, where all co-owners were asked about their experience of working at Torchbox. After looking closely at the results, we're now rethinking some of our company policies and ways of working. Our goal is to more effectively embed wellbeing into our culture. We also continue to offer tools like Headspace for Work and SAD lamps, which add to the wellbeing support we already have in place.

We’re now continuing with plans to train more team members as Mental Health First Aid Responders as well as planning a series of talks and workshops to build confidence and better recognise early signs of burnout.

The Zen Bus
The Zen Bus and it's beautifully decorated interior

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)

Our Diversity and Inclusion Voice Group aims to build a collective responsibility for inclusivity, where everyone at Torchbox is committed to ongoing learning and growth, supporting each other to be their authentic selves, and walking the walk of inclusivity in their actions and behaviour. They encourage suggestions from co-owners on topics that we should explore and issues we should tackle, so ideas become part of a wider conversation.

In 2022, via the D&I group, we commissioned a diversity and inclusion survey to help us better understand our people and culture. The group has been working with an external consultant to analyse the data to ensure there was no internal bias. They worked on recommendations for areas of focus, including the creation of safe space Slack groups for LGBTQIA+ and neurodiverse communities. The group also updated guidance on our Intranet with best practices and accessibility of tools such as Miro and Google Suite and shared tips and resources to help us set up our internal docs in a more accessible way.

They also identified and showed support to various national days, including Menopause Day—reminding people of the safe spaces and support we have in place. As well as ADHD Awareness Month and Black History Month. They also organised a Spark Talk, titled ‘Designing Gender Inclusive Services’ with Emma Parnell and Lee Brown.

Looking ahead, the group have a vision-setting session to work on their plans for 2024. They’re also working on adding guidance about neurodiversity to our Intranet, hosting another Spark Talk with a neurodivergent speaker to discuss their journey, providing management training to support neurodivergent teams better, and developing a Transitioning at Work Policy with an external consultant.

Manchester Pride
We headed to Manchester for a brilliant day to celebrate Pride

Climate and Sustainability

Our Climate Voice Group helps ensure Torchbox is a sustainable organisation that considers the impact on the environment in everything we do and has a material positive impact on the environment. Their vision is that Torchbox is leading our industry to net zero, which means aiming to achieve zero carbon emissions as a business and helping other organisations to do this too.

The group play a big role in helping Torchbox reach net zero, and has recently set goals to:

  • Empower teams and individuals with the knowledge and guidance to make more climate-conscious decisions
  • Raise awareness of the climate impacts of digital
  • Share their learnings for reducing this within the nonprofit sector
  • Create a supplier net zero strategy and help execute this

This year has also seen the creation of the role of Chief People and Planet Officer for Olly Willians, and we also proudly got our B Corp Certification. You can read more about this important milestone in Olly’s blog.

The group has introduced several initiatives to encourage sustainable living, including an incentive to switch to a renewable energy plan and Sustainable Holiday Travel Time, which gives us all two paid days of travel time if we choose to travel by land or sea, instead of flying. So far, 18 people have taken advantage of this scheme.

The Climate Group also raise awareness around events such as Plastic-Free July and Veganuary and uses the tool Giki Zero to give advice and tips on sustainable living. They regularly pair up with other Voice Groups to co-organise events, such as a Veganuary cook-a-long and a beach clean. This helps to bring initiatives together that consider angles from each Voice Group. They have been a voice for our annual 65-mile office-to-office cycle ride commute too, using this as an opportunity to highlight the importance of sustainable travel.

In 2024, the group has plans to keep working towards their goals set out above, sharing their journey to net zero so that others can learn along the way too.

Virtual cook-a-long
Joining together to make Roasted Mediterranean Aubergine with quinoa - delish!


Our Social group organise exciting events throughout the year, ensuring that we all feel a sense of belonging, no matter where we’re based in the world. They do a brilliant job of coordinating activities to suit different time zones too.

This year, they’ve organised several in-person and virtual events including a Vegan Cookalong, where the brilliant The Cookway sent us each a box of ingredients and we joined together to cook a delicious Roasted Mediterranean Aubergine with quinoa. In March, we headed to 20th Century Flicks, Bristol’s independent cinema, and the world’s longest-running video rental store! We also went bowling, enjoyed the magic of Gifford’s Circus, and celebrated diversity and inclusivity at Manchester Pride as well as a night at Queer Cabaret. Meagen, Sam and Claudia also hosted a virtual games event to play Drawful 2 which went down a storm!

Our social Voice Group also got us all together for a summer BBQ event to welcome our new starters and this year’s Academy cohort. A special thanks to Neal for singlehandedly taking on BBQ duties for the whole team which was no mean feat.

We got competitive in October, with a pumpkin craft competition, where Torchboxers and their families unleashed their creativity to win prizes! And, as we head into the Festive season, we’re also taking our families to various festive light displays across the globe.

Decorated pumpkins
Brilliant pumpkin competition entries from Jess and Andy

Community Action Group

This year marked a fresh chapter for our Community Action Group, previously known as the Civic Engagement Group, which rebranded to reflect their ongoing commitment to deepening our community ties and nurturing a culture of giving back. They’ve been busy on several initiatives, including partnering with Bristol Academy to run our Digital Day, organising the Black Dragon Challenge to raise over £200 for our charities of the year, and supporting fellow co-owners on their community action fundraising initiatives. In total, Torchboxers took 30 days of their volunteer leave to support local communities, including a day for Bristol’s charity six-a-side football tournament.

The Community Action Group also re-launched our much-loved Charity Auction to continue raising money for our charities of the year, with some wonderful prizes, including hand-painted pet portraits and cookery classes! And finally, through our Community Action Group, we are proud sponsors of Tech4Good South West, a significant initiative driving change in Bath, Bristol, and across the South-West.

Their plans for 2024 include holding a group and vision reset to support their mission of supporting local communities, with plans for a family-friendly Charity Challenge, a continued partnership with Bristol City Academy and much more.

Torchbox team playing football
Torchbox team ready for the Charity Football Match

I’ve loved spending the year on such wonderful initiatives with the Wellbeing Voice Group and look forward to making more impact next year. Thanks to all our Voice Groups for their brilliant ideas, initiatives, and support throughout the year!

Keep up to date with us on LinkedIn and Twitter for regular updates from our Voice Groups.

Author information: Lily Veale , Senior Marketing Executive , Post information: , 6 min read ,
Related post categories: Culture ,