Richard Stewart isn’t your average CEO. At an awards night, he is the last on the stage, wanting his team to enjoy the glory of the moment for what he perceives as their achievement. He makes a great keynote speaker or host of a networking event or charity dinner. He speaks openly of his own experiences of living with generalised anxiety and what it was like to have regular panic attacks from age 13.
When you speak to Richard, his passion for his team, his clients, and the aspirations of his company shine through. There is no ego. He doesn’t want to talk about him. It is all about what his team achieves.
A personal story to tell
With a proven background of successful entrepreneurial ventures over a range of sectors including property, health and transport, Richard has had an interesting journey to lead him to Training for Life.
He doesn’t want to dwell on the history of going from a city career, to deciding to walk away with nothing in the pipeline. As part of his role, he will talk about his panic attacks and anxiety but he doesn’t share for sympathy but to help others on their mental wellbeing journey.
On meeting Richard it quickly becomes clear that he is focused on the future, and his passion: supporting and helping others with their mental health and well-being.
“I have previously built and had hands-on experience with running a diverse range of businesses including property, health, publishing, marketing, transportation and catering. I’ve now taken all those skills, life experiences and contacts to help me follow my real passion,” explains Richard.
A non-profit company supporting an award-winning charity
In 2017 Richard initiated a collaboration with the Students’ Union at the University of Suffolk. The result is a multi-award-winning charity, recognised at a national level, and supported by some of the most well-known organisations, businesses and education & NEET provisions in the UK. The charity, My Life, provides mental health well-being and mental health first aid courses in education settings and prisons.
In 2019, Richard founded Training for Life, a not-for-profit organisation to donate all profits to the charity My Life. Through undertaking a commercial approach to mental health and well-being training, Training for Life raises the funds needed for My Life to continue supporting young people and those with current lived experience of the prison system.
Mental Health First Aid Training and more
“We offer training courses under the MHFAEngland® accreditation across England,” explains Richard. “As a qualified instructor for Mental Health First Aid England and the National Centre for Suicide Prevention Education and Training, my team and I can provide a variety of training courses to those working with young people, as well as to commercial enterprises looking to improve wellbeing in the workplace.”
Training for Life offers MHFAider® certification, Suicide Prevention Training, Workplace Mental Health training and well-being courses. Working with companies such as Santander, Associated British Ports, Lloyds and Cogent Breeding, courses are provided either online or in-person throughout the country by a team of qualified, dedicated professionals.
Bespoke training with long-term support
“We work with our clients to provide bespoke training tailored to fit their individual needs and environment,” says Richard, “And we maintain that individual relationship after training, to make sure the individuals maintain the policies, working procedures and training levels needed to support their team, and themselves.”
Introducing Mental Health Ambassadors to all businesses and education settings
The past six years have been exciting for Richard and the team. My Life has fantastic projects underway in prison and educational settings, and Training for Life is working with corporate clients to support My Life’s charitable projects financially. Richard has big plans for both the charity and the business:
“My vision is that we can support all businesses to have at least one MHFAider®, designated individuals tasked with supporting everyone to stay well, manage their mental health and thrive.”