St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

Meet the team: Thriving at Work Project Officer Sarah Chmura

Sarah, thriving at St Nicks

What is your role at St Nicks? 

As the Thriving at Work Project Officer, I work one to one with employed individuals across York who are experiencing mental health challenges, using mentoring support and nature-based solutions to help them discover ways of reducing stress, improving their sense of wellbeing and ultimately to thrive at work. 

I’ve always felt that as we often spend a significant part of our time at work, it is so important to feel some level of fulfilment in our working roles. Part of this is about feeling valued and supported and confident in the workplace and I am keen that people can work towards this via the Thriving at Work programme.  


Can you tell us a bit about who or what inspires you to work in the mental health field and some of the projects you’ve been involved with? 

I think the main reason I work in mental health is I really value equality. Having previously been a foster carer I am very aware that not everyone gets the same starting point in life. There are so many things that might happen on life’s journey that may affect how a person’s story plays out. That said, it is never too late to change the story’s narrative. So I have always seen a real need for projects that support people to overcome the challenges they may have faced and to begin to start having the life they deserve.  


What’s your favourite way to connect with nature? 

For me, I just love to be outdoors, whether that’s going for a nature walk or simply sitting watching the wildlife in my garden. I find the fresh air and sunshine (when it’s finally out) really give me a boost and also it’s a chance to just pause, breathe and be in the present moment which can help provide respite from the day-to-day business of life.  


Who can access the Thriving at Work one-to-one sessions? 

If you are in paid employment but feel as though a mental health issue or challenge is preventing you from thriving at work – whether or not you have a formal diagnosis – these sessions could be for you.  

In the sessions you will be offered support in exploring solutions and taking action to help improve your wellbeing.  

You will need to be committed to setting and working towards goals to create the changes you would like. Your mentor will be there to support you every step of the way in this process.  

You may wish to work on:  


What would a typical one-to-one Thriving at Work session involve? 

It is very much your space, to bring up any issues that feel significant for you. It’s somewhere to feel heard and understood as well as helping you to explore the strengths and capabilities you have inside yourself which will help you create the changes you want in life. 

You will be offered up to an hour each session to discuss these issues and begin to set goals to help you move forwards.  


How do the sessions link to nature and the environment? 

I am a big advocate for the powerful role that nature can play in our mental and physical health. Through being involved in this project you may discover ways in which the natural environment can personally benefit your own wellbeing. There are lots of nature-based activities to try and get involved with at St Nicks! 


What would you say to somebody who is thinking about getting involved in the Thriving at Work project? 

I would say that everyone deserves to find some enjoyment and happiness in life and you do too!  

I understand that sometimes it can feel like there are so many obstacles that it can feel impossible to start overcoming them.  But we are here to listen and help you start to take steps to feeling more positive and have a greater sense of wellbeing.  


If you are interested in accessing our Thriving at Work support, please read the frequently asked questions  and contact or send a completed registration form to

Find out more about the Thriving at Work project  here.

22 June 2021 | Categories: Thriving at Work, Uncategorized | Tags: anxiety, confidence, connect to nature, depression, employment, equality, health and wellbeing, help, mental health, nature connectedness, nature walk, self-esteem, support, Thriving at work, work, York