Photo of Jodie Hill

Jodie Hill

Jodie Hill has been nominated by her fellow Inspiring Women Changemakers member, Joanne Feaster.

Joanne says “Jodie is a dynamic, determined and successful lawyer. She used her own time of vulnerability & greatest need to change her working life & others around her.

Following a mental break down she set up her own law firm Thrive Law, in Leeds. That year, she also founded ‘Thriving Minds’, an annual conference bringing together professionals and businesses to listen to keynote speakers and shared experiences about how to manage workplace mental health.

Jodie is committed to de-stigmatising mental health and disability in the workplace as well as empowering women. Jodie started a couple of petitions & promoted them in local & national media & forums to improve workplace for mental health.”

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Who has she helped/who will she help?

Jo says “Her own firm lives these ideals with flexible working & various initiatives to support the team’s mental health. Last year Jodie set up Thrive Women which is where we met to support & empower women in the North, holding quarterly events.

This year, along with Paul Porter HR Consultant, she has set up the tHRive club for HR, SME MD’s & people managers to share advice and good practice & create a sense of community and support during the Pandemic. With the onset of Covid-19 Jodie set up a free email helpline through Thrive Law to offer advice to employers & employees, to over 1500 people.

Via Facebook groups for Thriving Minds, Thrive Women & now tHRive club, Jodie offers ongoing tips and suggestions to her network. She also hosts a series of YouTube & IGTV videos to share her messages wider.”

What’s worked?

“Jodie has a wide reach in the North. Good contacts and networks promote her messages via social media & she has appeared in the Yorkshire Post on several occasions. She has appeared on BBC 5 Live, BBC Look North and ITV news to answer questions on employment law implications of the ever-changing situation.

Jo says “Jodie’s campaigns are successful in raising awareness of mental health issues & of the importance of creating groups and communities that support each other, through good and bad.

Events held were successful and have built on from each other, growing reach. Jodie is a great collaborator, partnering Thrive Law with Champion Health to deliver online mental health training for businesses through their Thrive Wellbeing platform, with Paul Porter to launch tHRive club & with various speakers to talk at her Thriving Minds & Thrive Women events.

Jodie’s campaign to have mental health first aiders mandatory in the workplace was debated in Parliament in 2019. #OneMind, her current campaign, calls for the government to implement mental health risk assessments at work, receiving thousands of signatures.

In 2019, Jodie received invites from both the President of the Law Society & The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to discuss best practice at addressing mental health and diversity in the profession. Thrive Law is the only small firm to be a mentor on the SRA Equality & Diversity Mentoring scheme.”

What has she learned? Any challenges?

“Jodie learned the importance of community and providing clear support through free advice lines and the tHRive club, which has grown rapidly. One of the biggest challenges is that by being so visible online, she can be inundated with enquiries for free support which can be difficult to manage with having a small team.

However, being visible with clear and straight-talking advice and tips at a time of crisis has helped Thrive Law to continue trading as well as providing support to others as they try to do likewise.”

What’s next?

“Thrive launched its Wellbeing packages in June. This provides managers with the skills and tools to manage mental health in the workplace, keeping it on the agenda rather than a tick box exercise with 24/7 access to a portal providing training and toolkits to support both employees and managers with wellbeing in the workplace.

All of this can be accessed remotely which is perfect for the current climate. Jodie will continue to raise awareness of the #Onemind campaign until the law is changed.”

What advice, contacts or resources would help her?

“It would be helpful to have other businesses and individuals support the campaign and contacts with MPs or other campaigners to promote this further.   Advice on how to take this to the next level would be invaluable.”

Why we’re sharing these stories

Each year, an individual or organisation from each of our five categories plus one exceptional judges’ choice individual is recognised at our Igniting Inspiration recognition event in November.

We publish each and every nomination to raise awareness of all the positive work that goes on in the North. While, this year, our physical event may have to be deferred, our campaign to spread stories of positive social impact continues – good news is needed!